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Full text of "The minister of education, by W. A. Harper."

^3 5 — • 



Of 



THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 



THE 

MINISTER OF EDUCATION 

by 

W. A. HARPER, LITT. D., LL. D. 
Professor of Religious Education in 
Vanderbilt University 

Author of "An Integrated Program of Religious Education" " Youth and Truth," 
"Character Building in the Colleges," etc. 



The University Post Publishing Company 
Ashland, Ohio 



COPYRIGHT, 1939 
THE UNIVERSITY POST PUBLISHING COMPANY 
ASHLAND. OHIO 



PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 



PREFACE 



lHE MINISTER OF EDUCATION," as portrayed in this 
discussion , represents partly experience and partly medita- 
tion on it. I have purposely not indicated the place where 
one ends and the other begins, because some persons would 
thereupon try to reproduce the tested experiments in local 
situations. 

However, it is the author s conviction that no situations 
involve the same elements and that therefore no program, 
successful though it may have been in the particular place, 
can be made to work in every other place. Readers are there- 
fore urged to discriminate and to employ the principles set 
forth in these pages constructively in other situations and 
they are also urged to write the results of such experimenta- 
tion to the author. Only thus can a body of dependable 
data be forthcoming, and data are our great need at this 
time. 

W. A. HARPER 



VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY 
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2014 



https://archive.org/details/theministerofeduOOharp 



ACKNOWLEDGMENT 



Acknowledgments of my debt to workers in the field of creative educa- 
tion arc far greater, I suspect, than I am aware of. The books listed at the 
end of the volume indicate a measure of this indebtedness and I must 
content myself for the most part with that unsatisfactory form of ex- 
pressed obligation. 

In particular, however, I wish to express my grateful appreciation to 
Religious Education, Chapter III ; to Social Science, Chapter VI ; to the 
Christian Leader, Chapter V; to the Journal of the National Association 
of Biblical Instructors, Chapter II ; to Advance, Chapter X; and to the 
Tennessee Constitution, Chapter IV, for the permission to reproduce por- 
tions of articles that have from time to time appeared in their publications. 

I wish also to thank the Abingdon Press, the Macmillan Company, the 
International Council of Religious Education, and the Yale University 
Press for permission to quote freely from their publications. 



W. A. Harper 



Table of Contents 



PAGE 



Preface 5 

I The Reverend Dr. Schmidt Comes to a De- 
cision 11 

II Dr. Sherron Begins His Work 20 

III First Church Adopts Objectives 32 

IV The Situation Which the Survey of the 

Church School Revealed — Organization 
Discussed 46 

V Miss Terhune Wins 60 

VI The Intermediate Department Makes a Cur- 
riculum 73 

VII Interest Grows — A Library Begins 90 

VIII First Church Adopts a Program 103 

IX A Teachers' Meeting Comes to Life 110 

X Dr. Schmidt Introduces an Innovation . . .119 

XI A Workers' Council Considers Methods . .131 

XII After Three Years 147 

Some Useful Books — For the Careful Stu- 
dent 155 



THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 



CHAPTER I 



The Reverend Dr. Schmidt 
Comes to a Decision 



1HE REV. ALLEN J. SCHMIDT, D. D., had been 
pastor of the First Church of Bakersville for seven 
years. During that time the depression had wrecked the 
fortunes of more than half of his parishioners. His 
church plant consisted of the church proper, the educa- 
tional building, and the parish house. Steadily his 
Church School was declining and so was the attendance 
on his preaching and worship services. His parish house 
somehow had never become the rallying center of the 
Christian community it was designed to be. 
What should be done? 

"My Church School Superintendent is a consecrated 
and competent man," he mused to himself. "He under- 
stands modern educational problems, for he is Superin- 
tendent of the city schools of Bakersville. His corps of 
teachers is of the best. They have all attended institutes 
in which courses have been offered in the Standard 
Leadership Training Course. Even the curriculum given 
in the Church School is of the most approved type, being 
the Closely Graded Lessons put out by our denomina- 
tion in cooperation with three other leading denomina- 
tions. What is wrong?" 

The pastor sat and thought for a long time on this 
problem. Then he decided to visit three great semi- 
naries and to secure a person especially trained in re- 



11 



12 THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 



ligious education as his assistant. But suddenly he 
realized that his plan needed the approval of the Super- 
intendent of the Church School and of the Official 
Board. 

"I will first talk this matter over with the Superin- 
tendent and then with the Official Board, " he concluded. 

So that very night he laid the matter on the heart of 
the Superintendent, Dr. James V. Martin, who felt the 
same way as his pastor in regard to the issues involved. 
Dr. Martin was ready to try a Director of Religious 
Education and to cooperate fully with this official in 
doing everything possible to increase the attendance on 
the Church School of First Church and eventually to 
bring a larger membership to that body. Dr. Martin 
agreed to present the matter before the Official Board 
of First Church, which was to meet the next night. 

At the meeting of the Board the members listened 
carefully to his story of the decline of the Church School 
in spite of the modern building, equipment, and curricu- 
lum. The Official Board knew of this situation, because 
they had heard the comments of the members of their 
families who were in the Church School. 

When Dr. Martin proposed the employment of a Di- 
rector of Religious Education, Mr. Schnell, an ardent 
supporter of the pastor, wanted to know how Dr. 
Schmidt felt about the matter. "And what would be 
your own relation to this new officer ?" asked Mr. 
Akers, Principal of the local high school. 

"Well," said the pastor, "I would like to visit at least 
three of our greatest seminaries, talk matters over with 
their Professors of Religious Education, see the candi- 
dates for myself, and then recommend to you. I think 
we would have to pay such a man $5,000 a year salary. 
Can we do this?" 

"That we can," replied Mr. Huston, banker, "and I 
will myself guarantee the salary for five years." There- 
upon the Official Board voted to send the pastor on a 
"scouting tour," and to accept Mr. Huston's kind offer, 
and adjourned. Everybody was happy and none more 
so than Dr. Schmidt and Superintendent Martin. Even 



THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 13 



Mr. Huston felt a sort of pride and satisfaction in being 
able at the crucial moment to say the financial word 
that turned the tide in favor of the new proposal which 
promised so much for the growth of First Church to 
which all of them were deeply devoted. 

The way appeared to be clear to go forward. 

And so on the next Monday — it was then Friday 
night — Dr. Schmidt went to see the prospects which the 
Seminary at Fairville had to offer. He found the Dean 
an affable man, deeply interested in the problem of re- 
ligious education, but he could not see why the pro- 
gram as described by Dr. Schmidt did not succeed. The 
Professor of Religious Education came in and agreed 
with the Dean. He had learned already that he had bet- 
ter agree with him or he might lose his job. And so Dr. 
Schmidt did not interview any prospective candidates 
in that seminary. 

While in that town, he did, however, call upon the 
pastor of his own denomination, who, to his sorrow, 
had tried a Director of Religious Education and found 
him wanting. 

Discouraged, Dr. Schmidt then called on the Dean of 
the largest and richest seminary in America located in 
Harbourville. The Dean of this seminary had been a 
pastor and knew at first hand all the problems with 
which Dr. Schmidt was confronted. "Your main trouble 
is," said he, "that you do not listen enough to the voice 
of the pew." But in came the Professor of Religious 
Education who agreed that a new type of preaching 
would solve the problems with which Dr. Schmidt was 
struggling. "We used to think," said the venerable Pro- 
fessor of Religious Education, "that the employment of 
Directors of Religious Education would solve all such 
problems. But we don't think so any more. You should 
revise your type of sermon," he concluded. So Dr. 
Schmidt did not interview any candidates in the Har- 
bourville Seminary, but turned away discouraged. 

He did, however, call on a pastor who had a church 
plant similar to his own and who seemed to be solving 
the problems of his parish with a Director of Religious 



14 THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 

Education. "How glad I am to see you," fairly shouted 
the pastor. "And don't make my mistake," he added. "I 
now have my second director and from the Harbour- 
ville Seminary, but he is my assistant, not my equal or 
my superior." 

Dr. Schmidt left this church and pastor feeling that 
he had himself hit upon the right solution. He deter- 
mined to call on one more seminary for light and as- 
sistance before he returned to his home. So he took the 
train on Monday night to call on a distant institution, 
arriving the next morning at Turbeville, some five hun- 
dred miles from Bakersville, his home town. 

Turbeville, he soon discovered, was a modern city and 
its seminary a modern seminary. The Dean had re- 
ceived his telegram and was waiting for him. Soon in 
came the head of the Department of Religious Educa- 
tion. Dr. Schmidt described his situation to them thor- 
oughly while both men listened to him with attention. 

The Professor of Religious Education spoke first. 
"You have a real problem," he said to Dr. Schmidt, 
"and you seem to be going at its solution like a religious 
statesman. It is our business to keep you from pitfalls 
and to cooperate as well as we may in a solution of your 
problem," he added. 

"That is true, Professor," declared the Dean. "It is 
clearly a problem in your field, similar to one you helped 
the church at La Platte solve. I suggest that you see Dr. 
Schmidt privately and talk this matter over with him." 
And so the pastor and the Professor of Religious Edu- 
cation withdrew to consider matters in detail. 

After two hours of conferring, the Professor of Re- 
ligious Education was ready to call in a prospective 
candidate, a man scheduled to receive his Ph.D. degree 
in religious education the next month. He fully shared 
the views of the Professor of Religious Education. 
When the Rev. Paul J. Sherron appeared, Dr. Schmidt 
was duly presented and liked him at once. He was ready 
to hire him immediately, or to assure him that he 
would be hired as soon as he returned home. But Mr. 
Sherron would not agree to accept the appointment 



THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 15 



until he had looked the situation over for himself and 
had come to know at first hand the problems he was ex- 
pected to solve. Dr. Schmidt therefore returned to his 
home at Bakersville, arriving on Wednesday morning. 
That night, after the church supper, he reported his 
findings to the Official Board at a called session. 

"Didn't the large salary appeal to him?" demanded 
Mr. Huston. 

"I tell you," said Dr. Schmidt, "he had a poker face. 
I cannot tell you what his answer will be, but I ar- 
ranged with him to come over to Bakersville for the 
week-end and to remain on the ground as long as he 
cared to. This is the best I could do and all I could do 
under the circumstances." 

And so Dr. Schmidt and the Official Board decided to 
await developments. Mr. Sherron arrived on Saturday 
morning. He called first upon Dr. Martin. Mr. Sherron 
arranged to attend the sessions of the Church School 
on Sunday morning and then with Dr. Martin went to 
interview Dr. Schmidt. Dr. Schmidt agreed to accom- 
pany him on Sunday morning on his visit to the Church 
School provided that he would preach for him that 
morning. He had not been accustomed to attending the 
sessions of the Church School himself, because it ap- 
peared to interfere with his preaching ability. 

The teachers were enthusiastic for the new plan, 
largely because Dr. Martin favored it. Anything that he 
favored must be all right, they reasoned. 

On Sunday morning the Church School group was 
larger than usual, because it was noised abroad that a 
man from the Turbeville Seminary was down to look 
them over. Mr. Sherron decided wisely to visit only the 
Intermediate Department and not to try to spread him- 
self over the entire school. Dr. Schmidt thought this a 
mistake and Dr. Martin protested that this department 
was the deadest one in his whole school. But Mr. Sherron 
was adamant and they yielded. Here he met the normal 
type of Intermediate Department using the Closely 
Graded Lessons. He soon discovered that the depart- 
ment was losing ground and thought he knew why. 



16 THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 



Church School over, he went to the church service 
and preached as best he could from the text found in 
John 7:17 — "If any man will do his will, he shall learn 
of the doctrine. " He declared that the experiences peo-r 
pie are having are the proper basis of their religious ed- 
ucation and that doctrine is the result of living, not liv- 
ing of doctrine. Dr. Martin accepted the new attitude, 
though he did not see how it could be worked out in an 
academic situation. He felt it might work for religious 
education where everything is voluntary and free; and 
perhaps the fact that they had never tried it accounted 
for the church's going back, in spite of possessing every 
modern advantage. 

At the young people's meeting that night the topic 
for discussion was "The Evils of Gambling." When Mr. 
Sherron was called upon to speak, he began by asking 
how they happened to choose that particular topic. The 
sponsor answered that it had been selected at head- 
quarters and that it was being discussed by young peo- 
ple's societies in all the churches of the denomination. 
Mr. Sherron noticed that only a handful was present at 
this young people's meeting and that a very small num- 
ber took part in the program of the session. He said 
nothing further. 

The next morning he called on Dr. Martin at his of- 
fice and together they went to see Dr. Schmidt. As 
usual Dr. Schmidt was early in his study and received 
them gladly. "And what is your answer to be, Mr. Sher- 
ron?" he queried. 

"That will depend on several important things," he 
straightforwardly replied. 

"You have a real opportunity here," he continued, 
"and I may be the man to help you realize it and again I 
may not be." 

"State your conditions and take as long as you like 
about the matter," interposed Dr. Schmidt. 

"All right," said Mr. Sherron. "The first condition is 
that I be allowed to begin in the Intermediate Depart- 
ment, admittedly your deadest group. The second con- 
dition is that you must not expect too much of me. In 



THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 17 



other words, education is a slow process and you must 
not expect rapid growth as a consequence of my labors. 
Eventually growth will come but only gradually, just 
as eventually we hope that all other departments will 
try to incorporate in their programs of action the pro- 
cedure we shall employ in the Intermediate Depart- 
ment. And my third condition is that we negotiate a 
contract that will state my relationship to you and to 
Dr. Martin and that will define my duties in general. I 
suggest the type of contract recommended by the Tur- 
beville Seminary Department of Religious Education. 
This contract should include the following items: 

"The First Church of Bakersville through its Official 
Board employs Paul J. Sherron to be its Minister of Ed- 
ucation at a salary of $5,000 annually. He is to begin his 
duties on July 1. 

"At all times he is to be under the direction of Dr. 
Allen J. Schmidt, pastor, and to cooperate with Dr. 
James V. Martin, Superintendent of the Church School, 
or their successors in office. He will through these of- 
ficers seek the endorsement of the Official Board for 
his procedures. 

"His duties shall be to organize, to execute, and to 
supervise the educational work of the church under the 
direction of the pastor and in cooperation with the 
Superintendent of the Church School. 

"It must at all times be recognized that the educa- 
tional process is slow and that attendance is not to be 
expected to increase at once." 

Dr. Schmidt assured Mr. Sherron that this brief con- 
tract would be submitted to the Official Board, but both 
he and Superintendent Martin gave him their word of 
approval for it. "I am particularly well pleased that 
you see the need of cooperation with our Superintend- 
ent," said Dr. Schmidt. 

"And I am deeply pleased," said Dr. Martin, "that 
you do not conceive yourself as the equal of our pastor. 
An organization can have but one head and that head is 
Dr. Schmidt in this church." 

"Don't forget the Official Board," added Mr. Sher- 



18 THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 



ron. "It is necessary that they understand our approach 
and endorse it fully." 

On Wednesday night, the Official Board met in called 
session and unanimously authorized its secretary to 
execute a contract with Mr. Sherron, embodying the 
conditions set forth by him. Dr. Schmidt and Dr. Mar- 
tin were happy and began looking forward to July 1 
when Mr. Sherron would arrive for his new duties, not 
as Director of Religious Education, but as Minister of 
Education. According to this contract Dr. Schmidt at 
all times would be in full command with Dr. Martin 
thoroughly cooperating with Dr. Schmidt and the Min- 
ister of Education, with the Official Board completely 
endorsing the plans and with the whole church ready 
to cooperate in an educational effort. Nobody expected 
that increased attendance would be the immediate re- 
sult nor that this was to be the final goal. 

On the next Friday, Mr. Sherron conferred with the 
Dean and Professor of Religious Education of the Tur- 
beville Seminary, signed the contract, and returned it to 
Mr. George H. Jensen, the Secretary of the First 
Church Official Board of Bakersville. In private letters 
to Drs. Schmidt and Martin, Mr. Sherron expressed his 
delight at being able to work with such men of insight 
and understanding and reiterated his determination to 
begin his efforts with the Intermediate Department. 

On Sunday following Dr. Schmidt announced the ac- 
ceptance of Mr. Sherron and then preached a great ser- 
mon on the individual Christian's responsibility in the 
Kingdom. His text was based on Galatians 6:5 — "For 
every man shall bear his own burden." In this discourse 
he insisted that every man has his responsibility for the 
progress of the Kingdom and particularly with refer- 
ence to its educational procedures. "We do not expect 
rapid increase in attendance as a result of Mr. Sherron's 
coming to us as Minister of Education. Educational 
processes are slow but they are sure," he insisted. 

Those who heard the sermon declared it to be one of 
the best that Dr. Schmidt had yet preached. And all re- 
solved to do full duty in making Mr. Sherron's work 



THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 19 



successful. "We must not expect detailed procedures 
in outline," declared a thoughtful member of the church 
as he rode home with his family after services. "Mr. 
Sherron means to adapt his program to the needs as 
they appear," he added. 

"I am glad though that he will begin his work with 
the Intermediate Department," declared Miss Emily 
Terhune from the back seat. She was the principal of 
that department and adult sponsor of the young peo- 
ple's group. She realized that something must be done 
to infuse new life into a dead or dying organization. 



CHAPTER II 



Dr. Sherron Begins His Work 



At THE JUNE CONVOCATION of the Turbeville 
Seminary, the Rev. Paul J. Sherron received his Ph.D. 
degree, and was on hand in Bakersville on June 30 
ready to begin his work on July 1. He made his tem- 
porary home in the St. Atlas Hotel. First he called upon 
Rev. Dr. Schmidt and together they rode down town to 
call upon Dr. Martin in his office. This was on the morn- 
ing of July 1. It was agreed that the Official Board 
should be called in extraordinary session that night and 
that all three men would speak. Since July 1 happened 
to be W ednesday, there would first be a church supper 
after which the Official Board would meet. 

Dr. Schmidt spoke first and declared that he felt Dr. 
Sherron would adapt his program to local needs as 
those needs became evident to him. He thought it a 
wise procedure for Dr. Sherron to adapt the program to 
the situation rather than to come with a ready-made 
program and endeavor to make the situation fit it. "We 
are evidently on the right track," he concluded. 

Dr. Martin felt that Dr. Sherron's first sermon in 
Bakersville, in which he said that the experiences people 
are having should be regarded as the basis of the cur- 
riculum of religious education, represented the very 
latest in educational theory. He doubted if this could 
be executed in the present academic situation, though 
he thought it would work admirably in the religious 
education program. "I am ready to try it in the First 
Church School," he said. 



20 



THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 21 



When Dr. Sherron arose there was a visible desire on 
the part of the twenty-seven persons present to hear 
his every word. "I do not think Dr. Martin means that 
he is ready to try the procedure throughout the First 
Church School, " he began, to which Dr. Martin nodded 
assent. "I want to try it first of all in the Intermediate 
Department and perhaps it will spread to the other de- 
partments if it succeeds in this, the most difficult group 
we have. I am not here to deal with easy propositions. 
This program must be locally applied and to the most 
difficult of situations. If it will work there, we may 
safely conclude that it will work anywhere. Also we 
must have the sympathetic and understanding endorse- 
ment of the Official Board in all matters. Do you favor 
beginning with the Intermediate Department and will 
you be satisfied with slow growth rather than mush- 
room development?" 

The Official Board voted by roll call for the program 
as it might develop. They pledged full support to the 
pastor, the Church School Superintendent, and the 
Minister of Education in their efforts to build up the 
Church School of First Church. They felt, and ex- 
pressed their feeling, that the educational approach was 
what was needed in First Church. Eventually this 
would mean growth in attendance, though they must 
not expect such a program to result immediately in in- 
creased adherents. 

It was decided to call a teachers' meeting for Friday 
night when Dr. Sherron would undertake to define what 
is meant by creative education in the church; nor must 
it ever be forgotten, as he insisted, in season and out, 
that he aimed through his efforts to organize, execute, 
and supervise a modern program of religious education 
in the Church School of First Church. 

On Friday night there was a full attendance of teach- 
ers — -sixty-nine in all, besides members of the Official 
Board and some interested members of the Church. Dr. 
Schmidt presided and presented Dr. Sherron, "Our ris- 
ing star in First Church, the man who knows his stuff 
and who will soon know us." 



22 THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 



Dr. Sherron began by saying that he hoped to prove 
worthy of the continued confidence of Dr. Schmidt. He 
reminded the group of teachers and the friends who 
were present that no miracles could be expected, that 
a good job would win emulation, and that a good job 
was what he was looking for in the Intermediate De- 
partment, but even then growth would be slow. He 
then launched into a discussion of creative religious edu- 
cation. He spoke extempore and convinced his audi- 
ence by the mastery of his theme and of himself as 
much as by what he said. He pointed out the fact that 
three words have become so popular in present day re- 
ligious education that we have to be sure we use them 
properly. "These terms are — integration, experience- 
centered, and creative. If a speaker makes an address 
and does not soon use one of these three terms, he is 
immediately rated down. These have become popular 
shibboleths and catch-alls. This makes it all the more 
obligatory upon those who would be proficient in re- 
ligious education to be sure that they use these terms 
properly. 

"Our particular concern is with the third of these 
terms — with creativity as a principle. The term creative 
was first employed in this sense, I believe, in 1886 by 
Felix Adler in his Workingmen 1 s School. In those 
days creativity was confined to the making of things in 
which working men were supposed to excel. Sixteen 
years later Wundt in his Outlines of Psychology 
speaks of 'creative synthesis' — a term that now means 
the principle of 'sharing/ as distinguished from 'syn- 
cretism' in the missionary field. This, remember, was 
thirty-six years ago. The first book to employ the term 
as part of its title was a book for children in the field of 
music, entitled Creative Music for Children by Mrs. 
Satis Coleman. This book was published in 1922. Three 
years later Hughes Mearnes published a volume en- 
titled Creative Youth with particular reference to the 
writing of poetry by high school students ; in that same 
year the Francis W. Parker School of Chicago issued 
its famous bulletin, Creative Effort. Then the term 



THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 23 



caught fire. We have books today on creative evolu- 
tion, creative hymns, creative worship, creative man- 
agement, creative skeptics, creative preaching, creative 
teaching, creative thinking, creative character, creative 
religion, and creative revolution. During a single year 
from July, 1930 to July, 1931 more than 300 books and 
magazine articles appeared with the word 'creative' 
either in their caption or in their content, if I mistake 
not. To be creative nowadays is to be up to date, mod- 
ern, progressive; and therein resides a real danger, the 
danger that educators will make a few changes in their 
procedures, call the same creative, and forget the real 
signification or implications of the word. 

"The word creative is used at least in four senses — 
the scientific, the sociological, the psychological, and the 
religious. The scientist thinks of creativity as 'emergent 
evolution/ The whole is greater than and different from 
the sum of its parts; for example, H2 plus O gives H2O, 
water, a liquid though composed originally of two 
gases. It may under certain conditions become a solid 
or a gas, but with its own characteristics entirely dif- 
ferent from H or O of which it was originally com- 
posed. The sociologist, however, uses the term to con- 
note the 'exceptional.' To him it is roughly equivalent 
to the work of the genius. The psychologist, on his 
part, does not object to this meaning nor does he con- 
fine the concept within any such narrow limits. To him 
any person who gains a new thought or a new insight 
or who accomplishes a superior achievement or attain- 
ment is thought of as creative. What would be 'creative' 
to the common run of persons would be commonplace 
to the genius, let us say. To the religionist, however, to 
be creative is to do or to invent something that tends to 
enlarge or to better human life. For my part the word is 
used in its ampler religious signification. In a sense 
this meaning for the word includes the other three. 
Happy is that teacher who can quicken the springs of 
creativity inherent in every normal human being! The 
creative leader is not one who can perform stunts per- 
sonally, but who can awaken the sleeping ability of 



24 THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 



growing persons so that they can give expression to 
new thoughts and to new insights and can become cap- 
able of inventing new appliances in the physical realm. 
Creative persons, in other words, are those who can do 
or contrive things that tend to enlarge or to promote 
human living. 

"We may speak of education as being of the trans- 
missive and of the creative types. By transmissive edu- 
cation we mean the approach to learning and teaching 
that seeks to pass on to the learner or growing person 
the matured wisdom of the race. It is not, properly 
speaking, a method, but an attitude or an approach. 
This transmissive approach may use any method, such 
as the lecture, question-answer, project, discussion, re- 
search, what not, but the answer is in any case already 
worked out and the chief business of education is to get 
this solution accepted or at least to make it acceptable 
to the growing person. 

"The creative approach does not know the answer to 
the problem. Indeed there may be several answers, and 
in order to yield the best results there should be several 
answers possible — the more the better — to the problem 
or issues to be studied. The creative approach may, like 
the transmissive approach, employ any method. But it 
employs a particular method only in that all the facts 
involved in a problem may be brought to light and real- 
istically faced. This approach will naturally make large 
use of the 'matured wisdom' of the race, larger use in 
fact than is required in the transmissive approach. Then 
it will subject that 'matured wisdom' to criticism and 
appraisal, accept or reject its conclusions freely, and 
never feel bound by what has been in former days. This 
approach tends to bring the individual to understand 
the problem under consideration with respect to its 
several factors and implications and to leave him free 
to choose his own solution, but it does not rest until he 
has set up experiments in living to test the validity of 
the conclusions at which he may have arrived. No in- 
tellectual exercise resulting in a mere intellectual con- 
clusion can end the educational procedure so far as the 



THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 25 

man who uses the creative approach is concerned. To 
him education is dead, unless it eventuates in life or in a 
program for life. Where transmissive education ordi- 
narily terminates, at the point where an intellectual 
conclusion is arrived at, there creative education be- 
comes vibrant with energy and, so we may say, really 
appears to begin. 

"Consequently, the creative approach makes severe 
demands upon the teacher. He must know the field in 
which the problem arises. He must have access to the 
sources of information which bear upon the problem 
and must make these sources available to the members 
of his group. He must have great confidence in the in- 
tegrity of the human heart and in the willingness of 
growing persons not only to do hard consecutive work 
and consistent thinking, but also to act faithfully in the 
effort to test the conclusions arrived at. No sluggard 
can be a creative teacher nor can such a person be a 
creative learner. Creative teaching is far more difficult 
for the teacher and for the learner than the time-hon- 
ored transmissive approach, but the rewards are in- 
creasingly great and he who teaches creatively may 
have the satisfaction of knowing that he is co-worker 
with the spiritual powers resident in the universe, in the 
effort to establish the democracy of God in men's 
hearts and in the institutions that minister to their lives. 

"So vital are the differences between the transmissive 
and the creative approaches in educational procedure, 
that it may not be amiss for me to state the two ap- 
proaches in contrast as follows: 



TRANSMISSIVE 

1. The teacher is the important per- 
sonage or active agent in the pro- 
cess. He is all important. 

2. The student or growing person is 
the receptacle for what the teacher 
has to give. He is a submissive 
oyster to take in what passes by. 

3. The materials must be mastered. 
They have intrinsic value. Elessed 
is the growing person that has his 
head well stocked with them. 



CREATIVE 

1. The teacher is counselor, guide, 
stimulating friend, inspirer. 

2. The student or growing person 
is the active, the initiating agent in 
the learning-teaching situation. He 
is the earnest seeker for the bases 
of life. 

3. The materials are to be used for 
the interpretation of particular prob- 
lems and issues of life. They derive 
their value from such interpreta- 
tion and so are source materials 



26 THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 



TRANSMISSIVE 



4. Methods are of value in aiding 
in the mastery of materials. The 
best method most readily leads to 
this achievement. 



5. Organization provides a frame- 
work for teaching. We should seek 
for the best type of organization. 

6. Education is a teacher-controlled 
situation — a task which we should 
make as pleasant as possible, but a 
task nevertheless. 

7. Education is insurance against 
the future — a preparation for life in 
the days ahead. 



8. When students have arrived at 
desirable conclusions, the education 
process is completed. 



9. The educated man is socially ad- 
justed so as to live harmoniously 
with his environment. 

10. Education cannot but be imposi- 
tion or indoctrination. The real 
question, therefore, is from what 
sources it will come. 



CREATIVE 
rather than materials to be mas- 
tered. They are to be understood 
and used, not merely intellectually 
discerned. 

4. Methods are useful in discover- 
ing meanings, appreciations, and 
values of experience. There is, 
therefore, no best method aside 
from the particular situation in 
which it is employed. 

5. Organization should arise out of 
actual need and aid directly in 
building character. There is no ideal 
form of organization. 

6. Education is a student-initiated 
process — a quest — and is inner-con^ 
trolled. It is a cooperative enter- 
prise in adventurous discovery. 

7. Education is concerned with life, 
our present life. With life's prob- 
lems it must deal. Learning and liv- 
ing, theory and practice, cannot be 
separated. 

8. Outcomes chosen in the edu- 
cational process are the beginning of 
projects to test their validity. No 
conclusion may be confidently 
championed till it has been tested 
in living. 

9. The educated man understands 
the problems and issues of his life 
and how to utilize his environment 
to further social living. 

10. Education is the process by 
which something original occurs. It 
is not a mere reshaping of former 
attitudes, but a new creation that 
eventuates. Indoctrination or im- 
position is mere propaganda from 
whatever source it may come, and is 
therefore a violation of the growing 
person's inalienable freedom and 
initiative. 



"Creative teaching is thus seen to be a cooperative en- 
terprise. All persons involved, both teachers and stu- 
dents or growing persons, will necessarily enter into 
the process. The teacher is there to contribute out of his 
experience, but the initiators and active agents are the 
students or growing persons. Does this debase teach- 
ing? Not so. It tends to exalt it and will exalt it if the 
purpose is to lead to understanding and intelligent 
choices and if the ultimate goal of learning is character 
development rather than the acquisition of knowledge. 



THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 27 



Creative teaching rests on the fundamental assumption 
that learning is best achieved under conditions of free- 
dom, sharing, and responsible participation on the part 
of the students or growing persons. Teaching is not 'get- 
ting persons told/ but stimulating growing persons to 
arrive at intelligent understanding and experimental 
testing in terms of an integrated standard of life volun- 
tarily chosen. As Professor Coe has well said, it employs 
or capitalizes interest, activity, and social participation, 
and is crowned by character as its ultimate achievement. 
Not all who are in a creative teaching-learning situation 
will arrive at the same conclusions. Creative teaching is 
not a sublimated, factory process for turning out a con- 
sistent set of like-minded automatons. But all who are in 
such a situation will come out of it with understanding, 
with intelligent attitude toward the character-building 
factors involved, and with a disposition to utilize those 
factors in constructive living. Creative teaching does not 
impose conclusions on growing persons, but equips 
them for intelligent selection of outcomes, motivates 
them to make such choice, and then to act upon it. 

Creative teaching involves, first of all, a recognition 
of informal as well as formal values. Schools, and the 
curricular schools of religious education in particular, 
are built around the conception that information is the 
end-all and be-all of education. It frequently happens, 
however, that the informal forces that mold character 
are more potent than the formal ones sponsored and 
maintained by the schools. No matter how assiduously 
the school may maintain the brotherhood of man, if the 
home consistently emphasizes that every man's hand is 
against every other man's, the growing person will 
have his character formed by the informal rather than 
by the formal teaching — by example rather than by pre- 
cept, in other words. Nor is it necessary even that there 
should be precept in the informal situation. For the 
force of example is oftentimes stronger than any pre- 
cept could be. The secular school (though I confess I 
do not like this designation), for example, may insist 
upon the altruistic attitude toward life, but if the play- 



28 THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 



ground assumes that life is competitive and that every 
man shall look out for himself, the growing person will 
naturally act from this selfish motive, and his character 
will be formed in this direction. The Church School, 
to take another example, may teach that God is Love, 
but suppose in the informal contacts of life men proceed 
on the basis of God as partial and as designed to grant 
special favors to particular individuals? All of us know 
what the result will be. 

"This value of informal teaching is very well stated 
in Frederick M. Thrasher's The Gang on page 265 : 'The 
effect of education of the boy so far as the development 
of character and personality is concerned, takes place 
far more vitally outside the school room in those infor- 
mal contacts which escape conventional supervision. 
These are periods of freedom — much more effective than 
the formal contacts that are presumed to be the truly ed- 
ucative ones.' It may be well also to quote the opinion of 
S. R. Slavs on in Creative Group Education in which he 
says on page 97 that 'Modern education holds that 
knowledge must emerge from experience and not pre- 
cede it. Whatever essential there is in a skill should 
originate from actual work as its development and ex- 
pansion require it. It is, therefore, to be expected that 
following the principle of progression, techniques and 
knowledges improve and grow with experience. ' Again 
on page 116 Slavson says: 'The specialist places his 
subject and his technique-process above the process of 
the growing personality. He is subject-motivated rather 
than child-motivated/ I especially commend these two 
books to you. 

"I could multiply these quotations many times from 
the writings of such persons as W. H. Kilpatrick, W. C. 
Bower, E. B. Crow, George H. Betts, A. J. W. Myers, 
E. J. Chave, and others, but enough has been said to 
show that herein is found the real problem with refer- 
ence to racial and interfaith conditionings. The formal 
instruction to which young people are subjected may 
insist upon the equality of men and of religious faiths, 
but informally persons are prone to act as if one person 



THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 29 



were superior to another, and as a consequence we have 
the hostility of whites and negroes in the South, of 
orientals and whites in the West, and of other racial con- 
flicts in other parts of the world. In the same way we 
have the antipathies of Jews for Christians, of Catholics 
for Jews, and of Catholics for other Christians. 

"Creative teaching involves, in the second place, the 
passing of courses of study and text-books as such. It 
is impossible for any group of persons to be wise enough 
to anticipate the problems which a particular group in 
a particular location may regard as uppermost in their 
experience. A course of study or a text-book is a logical 
arrangement of subject matter for those who would 
master the understanding of particular problems and 
issues of living. To require the mastery of such a text- 
book without any reference to the problems and expe- 
riences of the group involved, is to do violence to the in- 
itiative prerogative of growing persons. There was a time 
when such courses in text-books were regarded as a ne- 
cessity in the educational procedure. This was when the 
Herbartian approaches to education were in the ascend- 
ancy. But today these are considered a hindrance to 
learning, if they are to be employed as materials to be 
mastered rather than as sources for understanding the 
problems and issues that naturally arise in the experi- 
ence of learners. In this way we see that the implica- 
tions of the experience-centered approach are far more 
serious in their involvements for teachers as well as for 
growing persons. This must be kept steadily in mind in 
deciding whether this method is worthwhile or not and 
whether it should be attempted. 

"Creative teaching will involve in the next place a 
recognition of the integrity of the growing person and 
of the values of any experience that may be selected for 
careful study and investigation. Why should not any 
experience that is deemed worthwhile lead to the de- 
velopment of Christian character? There are no sub- 
jects that all persons should be required to know other 
than the tool subjects, and even tool subjects may be 
handled creatively. Any experience, therefore, may be 



30 THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 



said to be capable of religious significance. Any expe- 
rience may properly be the basis of the curriculum. And 
no matter what experience may be selected for special 
study and investigation, the result will always be a con- 
tribution to the development of Christian character. It 
is difficult for those who have been accustomed to look- 
ing upon knowledge as having value in itself to accept 
this dictum. But it must be accepted and acted upon if 
the creative approach to educational problems, to life 
situations, is well founded. 

"Creative teaching will involve the passing of dates 
and schedules. One of the banes of modern religious 
education is that it has to be dated and we have to fin- 
ish a certain amount of material at a certain time. How 
in the world can we schedule the rate at which experi- 
ence will evolve? The dating of and the schedulizing of 
programs are among the impedimenta of modern re- 
ligious education. They must be done away and perfect 
freedom must be accorded the leader in the group and 
the group itself to stay with a proposition as long as 
there is interest in it. This may be for six weeks or six 
months or it may be for only a part of an hour, but in 
any case there should be perfect freedom to deal with 
the experiences of the group as they shall evolve. 

"Creative teaching will involve also the passing of the 
present conceptions of leadership education. We used 
to call this teacher training, and then we called it 
teacher education but now we call it leadership educa- 
tion. By this we mean that the person is not trained to 
fulfill a certain obligation to his group, but rather is 
educated in such a way as to deal with the problems of 
experience as they shall arise. Our thought, however, 
is that this separation of theory and practice is ridicu- 
lous and impossible of achievement. Therefore the new 
type of education which the leader will have will be in 
the nature of apprenticeship. The problems that they 
will deal with will naturally arise in the process of 
teaching and will be solved by the group. The leader- 
ship ability which they will acquire will therefore be in 
the nature of a by-product based on experience and 



THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 31 



evolved gradually. This is not the basis of all ap- 
proaches to leadership education courses, but eventually 
it will be in my judgment. 

"Finally creative teaching involves a new conception 
of the purpose to be achieved through religious educa- 
tion. When we conceived of education as the mastery 
of materials or as the process of giving persons what we 
feel they might need in order to adjust themselves to 
the environing circumstances of their lives, it was easy 
to achieve the purposes of education. But if we con- 
ceive of education as the understanding of the issues 
and problems of life and if we consider its purpose to 
be the development of character, it becomes difficult to 
achieve its goals and it becomes truly creative in the 
process of arriving at them. I have already mentioned 
this matter in the previous discussion, but it is well to 
have it stand out in this manner. Education should not 
produce a mass of persons thinking the same thing, but 
should lead to an intelligent utilization of the materials 
and sources available, so that the growing person may 
either adjust himself to the circumstances, if this is 
what he desires, or change the circumstances in which 
he lives according to his life's ideals. 

"In conclusion, let me say that I would not be dog- 
matic at all in the discussion of the involvements of 
'creativity.' I do not say that learning cannot take place 
except through the utilization of the creative approach. 
This would be to say what is manifestly not true, be- 
cause most of us were brought up on other techniques 
and yet we know that we have learned certain things. 
I do say, however, that learning best takes place when 
the approaches of creativity are employed." 

When Dr. Sherron had concluded his address, Dr. 
Martin moved to approve the platform of Dr. Sherron 
and to do whatever he might ask in its promotion. The 
Intermediate teachers were especially enthusiastic and 
particularly Miss Emily Terhune. She expressed the 
hope that Dr. Sherron would also be willing to include 
the Young People's Society in his forthcoming experi- 
ment. 



CHAPTER III 



The First Church Adopts Objectives 



IHE NEXT MEETING included the membership 
of the entire church. Dr. Sherron advocated the radi- 
cal view—radical for First Church — that the entire 
church was responsible for the success or failure of re- 
ligious education. This church had heretofore held Dr. 
Martin and his corps of teachers responsible. Dr. Sher- 
ron thought the entire church program should be edu- 
cational, and so he held the entire church responsible 
for any achievement or lack of achievement which 
might eventuate. His ideal church school man was the 
distinguished Professor of Religious Education in Tur- 
beville Seminary who frequently said to his graduate 
students that what we should aim at was a church and 
only a church in religious education. 

And so when Dr. Schmidt announced at the morning 
service on Sunday that after the church supper on the 
next Wednesday there would be a congregational as- 
sembly to consider the objectives of religious educa- 
tion for First Church, there was tacit resolution to be 
present. In fact, there was such an overflow attendance 
at the supper that hotel caterers had to be called in to 
supply extra food at the last moment. Evidently some- 
thing was happening in First Church. 

After the supper Dr. Schmidt presided as was his 
custom and introduced Dr. Sherron, taking occasion to 
congratulate the church on its growing interest in re- 
ligious education and to assure those present of their 
responsibility for the program in First Church. He did 
not preach again his sermon on "Individual Responsi- 




32 



THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 33 



bility" but he could not refrain from referring to it — 
which he did most deftly. His remarks served as a most 
effective introduction to the theme of the evening, "The 
Objectives of Religious Education." 

Dr. Sherron spoke about the value of knowing our 
aim if we are going to hit the mark. Eloquently he 
charged leaders of the congregation, by which he said 
he meant each individual Christian, with the duty of de- 
termining objectives. "An objective is a goal, a target, 
something to be aimed at, something to be achieved. 
Vieth says— An objective is a statement of a result 
consciously accepted as a desired outcome of a given 
process.' He then gives five major ends served by ob- 
jectives as follows: (1) Direct processes; (2) Give 
proper sequence; (3) Guide activities; (4) Guide the se- 
lection of materials; and (5) Measure the effectiveness 
of educational processes. To this list of five, we would 
add two others: (6) Supply incentives; and (7) Make 
long-time policies possible. 

"Evidently Vieth has in mind the value of objectives 
for the leader, or else he is thinking of education as 
something done to the learner rather than as the de- 
velopmental process that evidences education in the 
growing person, for such a person educates himself by 
his self-activity. It is certainly valid in the educational 
concept, however, for the leader to have objectives which 
activate him in his work. It is doubtful if many of us 
would be willing to undertake to teach unless we enter- 
tained certain worth while (to us) objectives for our 
work. Such goals seem necessary to motivate us for our 
effort. 

"How are objectives arrived at?" he asked. "In three 
ways — philosophically, concensually, and scientific- 
ally," was his answer. 

"For the ordinary man objectives are determined 
philosophically," said Dr. Sherron. "He sits down and 
reflects upon his experience, upon the materials at his 
disposal, upon the lives he hopes to influence for good, 
and on the basis of these matters arrives at certain goals 
he would like to achieve. This was the attitude toward 



34 THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 



the curriculum of the Uniform Lesson builders when 
they launched this business man's approach to religious 
education in 1872. It is their approach today. It is the 
approach of the vast majority of workers in our pres- 
ent-day church schools. The Uniform Lessons conceived 
that the Biblical materials had value in themselves, that 
all persons should know these materials, and in terms of 
their teachings order their lives. Grant these premises, 
and there must inevitably follow the philosophical de- 
termination of the objectives of religious education. If 
education is material-centered, then philosophy may 
well determine its goals or objectives. 

"But suppose education is pupil-centered. Suppose we 
are not primarily concerned for teaching certain ma- 
terials, but for teaching boys and girls, men and wom- 
en. Suppose our aim is not to get certain information 
accepted and 'degurgitated,' but rather to induce life to 
function creatively in growing persons, whether young 
or old. Will this view of education have anything to do 
with our manner of determining objectives? 

"Vieth evidently thought so. He does not believe that 
our primary purpose is to have certain valuable infor- 
mation imparted or acquired, but rather to produce a 
desirable change in growing lives. Education, as he 
conceives it, is getting the growing person to fashion 
his life by the use of materials according to desirable 
ends. Accordingly he was not content to think out re- 
flectively or philosophically the objectives of religious 
education. He would examine the output of certain ex- 
perts in religious education and from such examination 
would arrive at desirable objectives. And so he thought 
he would ask the profession to name the ten persons they 
regarded as founders of religious education. By the pro- 
fession he meant, professors of religious education in col- 
leges, universities, and seminaries; the directors of re- 
ligious education in local churches; editors of religious 
educational literature; pastors and other persons known 
to be educationally minded in the religious field. He 
asked this group, 213 in all, to nominate the ten persons 
they considered to be outstanding in religious education. 



THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 35 



Eighty-four replied, and on the basis of these replies 
ten persons were chosen as follows: Artman, Athearn, 
Betts, Bower, Coe, Cope, Hartshorne, Richardson, 
Soares, and Weigle. Mr. Vieth then read all the printed 
materials these ten men had produced, such as books, 
articles, reports of addresses, etc., and arrived at the 
seven major objectives these men had advocated. These 
ten persons were then asked to verify the objectives 
thus arrived at. The results of their vote were submitted 
to the original group for validation and criticism, and 
the whole procedure was then submitted to the Educa- 
tional Commission of the International Council, which 
in 1930 duly approved these seven as the objectives of 
religious education as follows: 

1. To foster in growing persons a consciousness of 
God as a reality in human experience, and a sense of 
personal relationship to Him. 

2. To lead growing persons into an understanding 
and appreciation of the personality, life, and teach- 
ing of Jesus Christ. 

3. To foster in growing persons a progressive and 
continuous development of Christlike character. 

4. To develop in growing persons the ability and dis- 
position to participate in and contribute construc- 
tively to the building of a social order embodying the 
ideal of the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood 
of man. 

5. To lead growing persons to build a life philosophy 
on the basis of a Christian interpretation of life and 
the universe. 

6. To develop in growing persons the ability and dis- 
position to participate in the organized society of 
Christians — the church. 

7. To effect in growing persons the assimilation of 
the best religious experience of the race, as effective 
guidance to present experience. 

"Each of these objectives is elaborated by sub-ob- 
jective titles to the total number of 35 in all. They may 
be read with their elaborations on page 80 and follow- 
ing of Vieth's Objectives in Religious Education. 



36 THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 



"Now strange to say, Vieth conceives of this method 
of determining objectives as scientific. But it is not. It is 
rather the method of concensus and is based on the as- 
sumption that those who have been especially influen- 
tial in the field of religious education are competent to 
say what its objectives should be. If you grant his prem- 
ise, his method is defensive and his conclusion inevi- 
table. But are we ready to agree that any ten men are 
competent to say what our objectives as religious edu- 
cators should be? Evidently not, because the Interna- 
tional Council itself has not been entirely satisfied with 
these seven objectives and has criticised them during 
the last three years as lacking social vision. We are 
ready to admit, however, that the selection of objectives 
by concensus is far preferable to their selection by the 
philosophical method, even though we may arrive at 
the same conclusions. 

"There are, however, those who conceive of educa- 
tion as the progressive understanding of the issues and 
problems of experience and the organization of these 
understandings into programs of living. We are ready 
to deal realistically and dynamically with any item of 
experience. Every experience to us is capable of re- 
ligious significance and will lead inevitably to a Chris- 
tian outcome. Materials are not worth while in them- 
selves, but serve only as sources for understanding the 
problems and issues of life. The creative approach rests 
on a scientific basis. The traditional transmissive ap- 
proach may rest either on philosophical or concensual 
bases. 

"The creative approach rests upon a scientific basis, 
we have said, and for the determination of objectives on 
such a basis certain techniques are valuable and neces- 
sary. [See the bulletin published by the University of 
Chicago Press, entitled Cooperative Studies in Religious 
Education, which Dr. Sherron passed through the 
group as he spoke.] The techniques are: 

1 . Recording Situations and Responses : 

The teacher, or someone collaborating with him in 



THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 37 



discovering the problems of his group's experiences, 
observes a member of the group meet some situation. 
He describes the situation — be it the failure to pass 
an examination, an order to bring in wood when visit- 
ing children are present and desiring to play, or what 
not — and records the response. The observer should 
tell objectively just what took place. In describing 
the environment of the situation, however, the ob- 
server should indicate as far as possible the racial, 
economic, educational, cultural, residential, and re- 
ligious backgrounds of the person observed. In most 
local groups, however, the serious-minded teacher 
will already have knowledge of the environmental 
background of each member of the group. A large 
number of these 'records' will suggest problems that 
underlie conduct and call for educational examina- 
tion and appraisement. 

2. Classification of Human Relations: 

The technique recording situations and responses 
is necessarily highly selective. It paints a portrait, so 
to speak, but does not give us an accurate photo- 
graph. We need, therefore, a technique that will yield 
a non-selective picture of the entire range of the 
group's experience. This picture may be secured by 
considering each member of the group in four human 
relationships — person to person, person to group, 
group to person, and group to group — and viewing 
each of these four relationships under a series of cate- 
gories or screens through which the relations would 
find expression. One screen or category would embody 
such activities as play, amusement, school, work, 
study, thinking, etc. Another would include such 
psychosociological factors as traditions, conven- 
tions, business and professional ethics, customs, be- 
liefs, creeds, styles, fashions, public opinion, laws, 
etc. A third would include such economic matters as 
the use of money, property, the radio, toys, the auto- 
mobile, etc. Sociological wishes would constitute a 
fourth screen, including such matters as desire for 



38 THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 



recognition, for security, for thrills, etc. A fifth cate- 
gory would be miscellaneous and capable of wide and 
varied application, perhaps almost always including 
such items as the conflict of loyalties, seeing an- 
other's point of view, social adjustment, regard for 
personality, etc. 

Let us take the matter of the family automobile, as 
an example. John is nineteen. The family consists of 
his parents and three younger children. John wants 
to go to the high school football game on Saturday. 
His father wants John to work in the store and does 
not endorse football games between high schools 
anyway, since they encourage drinking and petting. 
The mother wants to take the three younger children 
to town to buy their winter coats. If John goes to the 
football game, he will necessarily have to remain 
overnight and cannot be back in time Sunday morn- 
ing for the family to motor out to the old home 
church for Sunday School and the morning worship 
service and then to carry out the expected afternoon 
visit with father's mother and father. Here we have 
the person to person relationship — John to his father; 
the person to group — John to his family, the church, 
the high school, the football team, the family of his 
grandparents ; the group to person — the family's in- 
terest and John's; and the group to group — the 
family in relation to the high school, the church, the 
grandparent's family. Observing and recording what 
happens in these relationships in terms of each of 
these screens and their divisional categories will un- 
earth a multiplicity of problems in any group. 

8. Interest Analysis: 

If all life's problems came out of abnormal adjust- 
ments, or disciplinary situations, these two techniques, 
scientifically enlarged, would solve our curricu- 
lum problems. But fortunately life ramifies in other 
directions — in the direction of interests, for example. 
And so we need a technique that will reveal to us the 
moving interests of each member of our group. We 



THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 39 



are dealing not with situations and relations primar- 
ily, but with growing, developing persons in chang- 
ing situations and relationships. Each member of 
the group should have his interests recorded and an- 
alyzed under such categories as intellectual, reli- 
gious, vocational, physical, (food, etc.), recreational, 
aesthetic, civic, and social, concluding with a listing 
of his dominant interests and a study of these to as- 
certain whether they are being realized or have been 
thwarted, and the consequent antipathies and com- 
plexes. 

4 . Time- A ctivity A nalysis : 

Oftentimes the key to the problems, issues, and 
experiences of the individual or of the group is found 
in the way time is spent. A faithful record by min- 
utes kept for a week at a time, not omitting weeks 
that include the seasonal activities such as Thanks- 
giving, Christmas, Easter, the annual vacation, will 
give an insight into problems that otherwise might 
never emerge. This technique highly illuminates the 
findings obtained through interest analysis and is in 
a sense a measure of the validity of the findings of 
that technique. 

5. Life History: 

This technique should inquire into hereditary mat- 
ters for at least two generations and should faith- 
fully mirror the individual's past up to his present 
situation. Physical health, personality characteristics, 
the past environing community or communities, bio- 
graphical matters with special reference to great ex- 
periences and personalities, together with their in- 
fluence over the individual, his changing views re- 
specting social, economic, religious, and other mat- 
ters — all are released to the intimate and sympathetic 
scrutiny of the teacher through this technique. Its 
value cannot be easily overemphasized. 

6. Cooperative Self -exploration : 

The foregoing techniques may all of them be nulli- 



40 THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 



fled partially by the tendency of persons to pose, 
especially if they think they are being observed, or 
investigated. Defense mechanisms are not figments 
of the imagination. They are stern realities of expe- 
rience. As a general corrective the group itself should 
find some project in which it voluntarily and asso- 
ciatively studies its own experience. Heaton's A 
Study of the Recreational Interests of High School Young 
People is a classical illustration of this technique. 
College classes in religious education are using this 
technique with good success, particularly in the truly 
creative courses. Eventually all education will take 
on the aspect of cooperative seif-exploration. Pro- 
fessional education in law and medicine has long since 
embodied in its procedures the essential elements of 
this technique. Its chief value is in its self-directed mo- 
tivation. The picture it gives is marvelously revelatory 
of the group's life-situations as they are and not as the 
group would like you to think they are. 

7. Tests: 

The religious educator habituated in the modern 
techniques of testing so characteristic of present-day 
educational procedure, will regard our approach as 
fundamentally defective without some reference to 
the use of tests in ascertaining the individual's knowl- 
edge, skills, attitudes, habits, sentiments, apprecia- 
tions, ethical conduct, etc. Tests, as now emphasized, 
lift a specific item out of its concrete situation and 
proceed to measure the individual's knowledge, atti- 
tude, or skill with reference thereto in terms of the 
tester's standard for the values involved therein. This 
procedure may be legitimate for certain purposes, but 
it is not according to life. A real test must deal with 
the total life situation, not with a segmented fraction 
of it. It must deal with it also in terms of conse- 
quences, not merely for a moment of time, but over 
long periods of growth. Whether or not our teaching 
has been good, poor, or positively injurious cannot be 
known by a test administered immediately thereafter 



THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 41 



or even six months thereafter. Such questions as 
these must be answered: Does the individual or the 
group grow in intelligence? Is there evidence of 
growing appreciation for the attitudes embraced? Is 
his self-control firm and certain? Does he persistently 
and effectively 'carry on'? We lack instruments for 
such testing. It is likely that this will take the form of 
case histories. Biography is particularly valuable in 
suggestions for evolving such a technique. 
"It is one thing to assemble the information respect- 
ing a group and its problems which the techniques de- 
scribed above will yield in bewildering array. For 
example, by the employment of just one of these tech- 
niques, Classification of Human Relations (for the age- 
group 18-24 and for young people not in college), more 
than five thousand experiences were developed by one 
group. It is a far different thing to analyze this raw ma- 
terial for curriculum building into its problems and to 
bring the group to enter into their solution as a cooper- 
ative enterprise. The teacher may need to call in ex- 
pert counsel in the effort to elicit from this mass of ma- 
terial its vibrant problems. 

"When the material has been thus analyzed, let us 
say, there will have emerged problems of race, of re- 
spect for parents and elders, of winning games at any 
price, of getting on in the world without respect for 
others, of honesty with persons and the opposite in re- 
spect to cooperation, of pagan notions of God, of 
orientating the Bible in life, of principles of vocational 
choice, etc. 

"The five thousand and more experiences revealed 
above by the Classification of Human Relations were 
synthesized, for example, under twenty-one type-ex- 
periences as follows: 

1. Achieving and maintaining physical health and 
fitness 

2. Achieving and maintaining mental health 

3. Participating in the educational process 

4. Understanding and adjusting to the personal and 
social aspects of sex 



42 THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 



5. Participating in the economic order 

6. Choosing and engaging in a vocation 

7. Utilizing leisure time through: (a) Avocation (b) 
Recreation (c) Amusement 

8. Appreciating and creating beauty 

9. Achieving a religious adjustment to one's world 
and participating in religious activities and in- 
stitutions 

10. Developing and maintaining friendship 

11. Encouraging the interpenetration of cultures 
by: (a) Fostering racial friendship (b) Promot- 
ing nationalism or internationalism (c) Adjust- 
ing social and economic differences (d) Improv- 
ing or sharing religion 

12. Participating in group government 

13. Adjusting to the social group — accepting or re- 
jecting mores, standards, public opinion, or 
ethics — achieving a place in society 

14. Preparing for and sharing in courtship, mar- 
riage, parenthood, childhood, family relations, 
family-community life 

15. Understanding and controlling fundamental im- 
pulses 

16. Exercising or adjusting to authority 

17. Facing issues of war and peace 

18. Caring for pets and animals 

19. Exercising and responding to leadership 

20. Reacting toward those considered less or more 
fortunate 

21. Building and testing a philosophy of life 
"Manifestly these techniques are for the expert, the 

curriculum builders of religious education, and cannot 
be used successfully by the rank and file. But we must 
steadily face the fact that the scientific determination 
of objectives involves the accurate and discriminating 
use of such techniques as we have outlined. Whether 
we shall have seven or twenty-seven objectives, or 
twenty-one as reported above, is of small moment. 
When we have determined our objectives, curriculum 
materials written for a type-experience will be neces- 



THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 43 



sary and should be made available by all publishing 
agencies to all workers by proper listing and announce- 
ment. The local worker will then select the source ma- 
terial designed to throw light on the problem, issue, or 
type-experience regnant in the particular group at that 
time. Of course, this will require an informed and alert 
leadership, which, we must sorrowfully admit, is not 
often available in our church schools. 

"For the leader such objectives as Vieth outlined are 
valuable, but what about the growing person? Of what 
use are such objectives to him? Let us repeat the seven 
values of objectives of teachers as we gave them above: 

1. Directs the process. 

2. Gives proper sequence. 

3. Guides activities. 

4. Guides the selection of materials. 

5. Measures the effectiveness of the educational 
process. 

6. Supplies incentives. 

7. Makes long-time policies possible. 

"We can readily see how these values should be help- 
ful to the teachers, but for the growing persons in the 
group a different set of values is needful. With the un- 
derstanding that the growing person will have no need 
for them ordinarily, certainly not at the beginning of 
the process, we may set them forth as follows: 

1. Serves to focus attention and interest. 

2. Clarifies experience through interpretation and ap- 
plication. 

3. Leads to experimentation. 

4. Motivates conduct. 

5. Forms habits or patterns of living. 

6. Sets up ideals. 

7. Validates the total philosophy of life or leads to 
its change. 

"However, these are idealistic values, and we might 
as well admit that ordinarily the growing person is not 
much concerned about objectives. He wants to under- 
stand his experience, its issues and attendant prob- 
lems. Objectives are not of especial concern to him until 



44 THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 



a tentative solution of the problem is arrived at in the 
teaching process. Creative teaching requires that we 
should analyze a problem, issue, or life situation into its 
issues and factors; that we should bring both personal 
and racial experience to bear upon it for solution; that 
we should canvass possible solutions, and then choose 
one. At this point in the creative teaching-learning 
process, the solution tentatively chosen becomes for the 
group the objective, to be appreciated, experimented 
with, generalized, reduced to habit, and integrated with 
the total life philosophy. Therefore, we say that for 
the growing person in the group, the objective is in 
the process itself. So it is, and it becomes a vibrant fact 
when a tentative solution is chosen for the problem or 
issue under consideration. It is doubtful if objectives 
serve any good purpose for a learning group till this 
point is reached. To make bold assertion that the group 
expects to achieve certain objectives from their investi- 
gation of the problem under consideration is not only 
to take the zest out of a situation by settling the con- 
clusion to be arrived at in advance, but also to produce a 
group of prigs bent on self-uplift. Such an unnatural 
procedure does violence to the learning process. It is 
far better for a group to go at the solution of its prob- 
lem in dead earnest, without knowing the outcome. In 
this way genuine learning will take place. Of course, the 
leader may know the objective to be achieved in a gen- 
eral way. Such knowledge will spur him on to noble en- 
deavor, but the growing person in the group, the learn- 
er, should be engaged in a genuine quest for the solution 
of the problem he faces. 

"After all the real objective of religious education 
was given by the Founder of our faith, when He said 
{John 10:10) — "I am come that they might have life, 
and that they might have it more abundantly/' It is 
doubtful if we can improve on this as the major, com- 
prehensive objective of religious education by philoso- 
phy, concensus, or science. He knew why He came. We 
would do well to follow His precept and to further His 
purpose for men." 



THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 45 



At the conclusion of the address Dr. Martin moved 
that so far as the workers themselves were concerned 
they should aim at the comprehensive objective for all 
religious education as stated by Jesus and specifically 
at the seven objectives outlined by the International 
Council. This matter was unanimously passed. 

"For the students or growing persons, as Dr. Sherron 
has wisely said, we cannot legislate," added Dr. 
Schmidt. "Their objective will be in the process itself, 
but we may be sure that no matter what theme is 
chosen, the solution will always be Christian." 

The confidence expressed by Dr. Schmidt appeared to 
be felt by all. The group requested that the objectives 
be inserted in the church bulletin next Sunday so that 
all might preserve them. 



CHAPTER IV 



The Situation Which the Survey of the Church 
School Revealed— Organization Discussed 



Dr. SHERRON'S NEXT ENDEAVOR was to as- 
certain the real situation with reference to the First 
Church School. He could do this only by a survey. Dr. 
Martin was glad to cooperate with him fully in this 
work. 

These are the facts that were revealed by the survey. 

The School was divided into three divisions. The 
Children's Division comprised the Beginners, the Pri- 
maries, and the Juniors. The Young People's Division 
consisted of Intermediates, of Seniors, and theoretically 
of Young People, though of this last group no trace 
could be found save in the Young People's Society. The 
Adult Division consisted of the Adult Bible Class for 
both men and women. In addition he found children's 
and women's missionary organizations extending from 
the Juniors through Young People to Adults. In addi- 
tion there were Boys' and Girls' Clubs, Scouts, Camp 
Fires, Girl Reserves, Hi-Y, 4-H, and other groups to 
which individuals might belong. He found what we 
know as Christian Endeavor, reaching from the Juniors 
through Young People, while there had been, though it 
was now dead, a Church Prayer Service held during 
the week. Also there were individuals enrolled in the 
denominational reading and correspondence courses, 
and others, mostly teachers, in desultory manner at- 
tended Summer Schools and Conferences for Leadership 



46 



THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 47 



Education maintained on the denominational or inter- 
denominational basis. It was possible for an Inter- 
mediate, in other words, to belong to a Sunday School 
(Church School) Class, Christian Endeavor, Scouts, or 
Camp Fires, Missionary Organization, to pursue read- 
ing or correspondence courses, and to attend Leader- 
ship Education Conferences held usually during the 
summer. There was no group for the young married 
people and none for adults except the Bible Class which 
used the Uniform Lessons. All of the groups below the 
adult used the Closely Graded Lessons, dividing ac- 
cording to sexes beginning in the Junior Grade. There 
were, therefore, six groups of Intermediates for nine 
girls and six boys. There was no provision for the Kin- 
dergarten Age, and uncertainty with reference to at- 
taching it to the Children's Division or the Adult Divi- 
sion. There had been such an organization attached to 
the Adult Division but it had ceased to be. 

There was a general feeling that the Church School 
was one thing and First Church another. In line with 
this general attitude Dr. Sherron's first aim was to have 
each division regard itself as being the church at work. 
For example, he urged the children to regard them- 
selves as the "Children's Division of First Church, " the 
young people as "the Young People's Division of First 
Church," and the adults as the "Adult Division of First 
Church." He assigned the duty of having these various 
divisions regard themselves as the church at work to 
the superintendents of the separate divisions, who 
agreed gladly to cultivate such consciousness on the 
part of these groups until they should feel that they 
were the First Church functioning in religious educa- 
tion in their particular divisions and age levels. "How 
otherwise will we ever have a church that regards itself 
as an educational institution?" queried Miss Emily Ter- 
hune. Miss Terhune was Division Superintendent of 
the Intermediate Department as well as Principal of 
this Department and Adult Sponsor of the Young Peo- 
ple's Society. 

"Why should you have six classes for fifteen pupils 



48 THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 



(growing persons) in the Intermediate Department ?" 
Dr. Sherron asked Miss Terhune and her assistants one 
day when they were holding a departmental meeting. 

"We have courses of study for each age," she replied. 
"And besides our denominational headquarters urges 
us to have this type of organization as meeting ideal 
conditions. " 

"We have a job to perform locally," he said, "and will 
have to use our common sense in providing for the sev- 
eral groups, to say nothing of making their experiences 
the basis of our curriculum." 

"What do you suggest?" came from seven voices at 
once. 

"Think about it," he said, then thoughtfully added — 
"Remember it must be the Intermediate Department 
of the Young People's Division of the First Church 
functioning in their religious educational work. I will 
be on hand Sunday morning and something may hap- 
pen. 

When the Intermediate Department assembled on 
Sunday morning there were present all fifteen members 
of the six groups, six teachers, Miss Terhune (the De- 
partment Principal), Dr. Sherron, and Dr. Martin. 

Miss Terhune made a speech in which she revealed a 
real grasp of the fundamental change needed to make 
the boys and girls feel that they were the First Church 
functioning in religious education for their age level. 
She then called on Dr. Sherron to tell them what they 
must do. 

"How many of you girls belong to the Girl Scouts?" 
he asked. All nine of them belonged either to the Girl 
Scouts or Camp Fire Girls he learned. And the six boys 
belonged to the Boy Scouts. None of the girls was a Girl 
Reserve nor were either boys or girls members of the 
Hi-Y or 4-H group, though he learned from Miss Ter- 
hune that in First Church certain young people be- 
longed to all three organizations. 

"And what teachers are interested in either Scouts or 
Camp Fires?" he then inquired. Not one of the six was 
interested, he learned; and Miss Terhune simply could 



THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 49 



not take on a new duty on any possibility. 

"Well," he drawled out, weighing each syllable care- 
fully as he spoke, "the first thing we must do to make 
you fifteen Intermediates regard yourselves as the First 
Church at work in religious education for your age level 
is to have a representative of your teaching staff be- 
come associated officially with the Scouts, for boys and 
girls, and with the Camp Fire Girls so that there will 
be no conscious break in experience between your de- 
partment and the Scouts or Camp Fires." 

"Why could not all six of us become associated either 
with the Scouts or Camp Fires?" queried one of the 
teachers, Mr. F. C. Jacobs, who was always friendly to 
new enterprises and was particularly anxious to have 
this program succeed. 

At the end of the service the three women teachers 
decided that two of them should attend the Girl Scouts 
and one of them should attend the Camp Fire Girls, 
while the three men teachers agreed to attend the Boy 
Scout meetings provided Dr. Sherron could arrange to 
have them invited to be assistants. He felt sure he could 
arrange this. They then went to the morning preaching 
service. A splendid service was awaiting them with 
music, worship, and preaching from the Parable of the 
Talents. 

At successive meetings of the Intermediate Depart- 
ment, it was decided to combine into one class, making 
the several teachers assistants and expecting each one 
to take charge of the actual teaching as requested by 
Miss Terhune and to use the lessons of Course VII, "A 
Nation and Its Builders," as the basis of their instruc- 
tion. It was also decided not to have officers for the In- 
termediate Christian Endeavor or the Missionary So- 
ciety different from the teachers of the department and 
that all members of the department should by virtue of 
that fact be members respectively of Christian Endea- 
vor and of the Missionary Society also. The Boys' and 
Girls' Clubs were dead. It was agreed that ail who at- 
tended Summer Schools of Leadership Education 
should first talk matters over with the officers of the 



50 THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 



department. The same procedure should apply to those 
who might wish to enroll for reading and correspond- 
ence courses. In this way organizationally all would be- 
long eventually to all kinds of work, and so it would al- 
ways be the Intermediate Department of the First 
Church functioning in religious education for that age 
level. 

"The Church School is not just another name for the 
Sunday School," declared Dr. Sherron. "It includes all 
the work of religious education undertaken in the local 
situation whether on Sunday or at any other time. It 
should include not merely the Sunday School, which 
is really the Sunday session of the Church School, but 
Christian Endeavor, the Missionary Societies, the Boy 
Scouts, and all the rest, and it should particularly in- 
clude the Daily Vacation Church School and the Week 
Day Religious Church School if these organizations 
exist in the local situation. Nothing is good for any In- 
termediate that is not also good and necessary for all 
Intermediates of that sex," he added. 

For the service of the following Wednesday night 
Dr. Schmidt asked Dr. Sherron to speak on organiza- 
tion after the church supper was over. The attendance 
at this service was not so large as on the previous week 
night when it was known in advance that Dr. Sherron 
would speak, but even then it was larger than normal, 
indicating unmistakably that new life had come to First 
Church. 

After he had been duly introduced by Dr. Schmidt, 
Dr. Sherron proceeded to speak on organization. With 
reference to organization he said that the curriculum of 
religious education as at present viewed consists of 
three elements or parts — materials, methods, and 
organization. "These three are capable of segregation 
into three separate items for purposes of intellectual 
consideration, but in actual practice they are fused into 
an integrated whole or unity. When we later consider 
methods and materials we shall emphasize the other 
two elements of the modern curriculum," he said. To- 
night he desired to confine his remarks to organization, 



THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 51 



on which the emphasis has grown steadily less and less. 
But he insisted nevertheless that organization has real 
value for workers in religious education. "There is, 
however, no ideal type or standard of organization 
which may be set up in every situation. It must rather 
be indigenous, arising out of particular situations, and 
changing as they change. This is an idea difficult for 
local leaders to realize. It is even more difficult for gen- 
eral denominational or interdenominational officers or 
supervisors to realize. Because a scheme of organiza- 
tion worked in Mt. Nebo or on Israel's Knob is no rea- 
son we should attempt it at Turkey Run or Sleepy Hol- 
low. Each local situation is autonomous in this matter 
and should be encouraged to exercise its autonomy. 
Standards should be adapted to local needs, in other 
words. 

"Not only is the emphasis on organization growing 
continuously less, but you rarely today hear anything 
about discipline and how to secure it. This is because 
educators are beginning to capitalize interest through 
creative teaching-learning situations and are depending 
less and less upon transmissive and indoctrinating ap- 
proaches. There should be no problem of discipline 
when experience becomes the basis of the curriculum. 
The learning-teaching situation engaged in discovering 
the meanings, appreciations, and values of such an ex- 
perience-centered curriculum will have motivated the 
learner so highly, that disciplinary problems simply 
should not arise. Wherever discipline is a problem, you 
may rest assured that transmissive approaches are 
being applied in the learning-teaching situations and 
not the creative approach. 

"Organization should arise out of local needs to meet 
specific situations and problems, let me repeat. Organi- 
zation should be in the nature of an organism, and not 
primarily a means of facilitating learning. It should be 
a guided experience in living. Organizational problems 
should be approached as educational opportunities, and 
their solution should be social achievements. That such 
a concept complicates organization for the administra- 



52 THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 



tor locally, and particularly for general denominational 
or territorial administrators cannot be denied. It is 
frankly admitted. But life itself is complicated, and free- 
dom of choice must characterize it if Christian char- 
acter is to result. We are not after simplified measures. 
Simplicity is the aspiration of philosophers, not of edu- 
cators. 

"It is so easy to sit in Nashville or New York or Chi- 
cago and make out an organizational chart or blue print 
for the religious education procedures of a denomina- 
tion or of the nation, and so exhilarating to hand it down 
to the local units and so disconcerting when they make 
changes in it, that standardization has become a pur- 
suit of religious education professional workers or 
supervisors. We must steel ourselves against its en- 
croachments. We must bring such leaders to recognize 
that regularity is the bane of spirituality. Standards 
deprive experience of inspiration, for the zest of initia- 
tive is sapped by their rigidity. Experimentation should 
be everywhere encouraged, fresh treatment of organi- 
zational problems and novel solutions should be wel- 
comed; more, should be planned for. Whoso discovers a 
new method of organization and applies it successfully, 
is a benefactor of the spiritual life. May his tribe in- 
crease! 



"This does not mean, however, that there are not cer- 
tain basic principles which should be kept steadily in 
mind by the responsible administrator and which 
should serve as a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of 
fire by night to prevent him or his group from wander- 
ing into by-paths beset with dangers and disasters. Not 
only should experience be the basis of our curriculum, 
but we should learn from others' experience. It should 
be the administrator's unadulterated joy to lead his 
group to study organizational experience and its under- 
lying principles, and so intelligently to solve the organi- 
zational problems involved in each local situation. Such 
an adventurous approach to the problems of organiza- 



THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 53 



tion will capitalize them for educational purposes. 
Organization exists to further life, not to hamper it. 

"The administrator will keep steadily in mind two 
psychological principles — 1. that experience is unitary 
and integrated, and 2. that personality grows and de- 
velops. When he sees the educational agencies of the 
local group competing with each other rather than co- 
operating, he will have discovered an opportunity to 
lead his particular group to understand and then to 
solve one of the outstanding organizational problems in 
the field of religious education. He will understandingly 
bring them to the point where they will perfect an in- 
tegrated organization which will prevent overlapping, 
overlooking, and competition, and which will at the 
same time preserve all the goods of all the present 
agencies and perhaps include certain other goods which 
are not even attempted in the present divisive and com- 
petitive situation. Eventually he will bring them to the 
point where they will regard the church itself as the 
comprehensive local educational institution, with all 
subsidiary agencies as part and parcel of its inclusive 
program. But even this conclusion should not lead to 
uniformity of organization or of practice. It should 
rather divest our religious education procedures of the 
ghostly specter of dull, deadening uniformity. This 
principle of integration rests for its validity upon the 
concept of the mind as a whole, as a unity, but with di- 
versity of expression. Unity in diversity is the law of 
progress and of life. This we should never forget. Our 
several educational groups, our financial programs, our 
varied offerings in the way of worship, activity, fellow- 
ship, teaching-learning, and counseling need to be in- 
tegrated and unified, but the solutions of this problem, 
we should always remember, need to be locally achieved 
in order to yield educational values. 

"The second basic psychological principle is equally 
important — that personality grows and develops, 
grows and develops by stages or cycles, and that it 
keeps on growing and developing, or should, till that 
chemical change called death separates soul and body. 



54 THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 



This principle will require grading, grading in worship, 
in teaching-learning, in activity, in fellowship and coun- 
seling programs, in organization. But here again the 
local group should face the problems involved and solve 
them in the light of experience, personal and racial. The 
problems involved in grading should always be re- 
garded as tentatively solved. There is no fixed or final 
solution. At any time there should be willingness to 
open them up again to the new light that is constantly 
bursting forth from the dual laboratories of psychologi- 
cal research and of personal living. Life cannot be 
standardized nor should we attempt to standardize any 
process which aims at furthering life. So will we make 
religious education locally administered a growing or- 
ganism rather than a stilted organization. 

"Experience has further taught us that in most 
churches in our day there should be a special policy- 
determining body or committee or group in each local 
situation. This committee, if you please, should be re- 
sponsible to the church and should know what is neces- 
sary to make the religious education approaches of the 
local group successful and creative. This committee, if 
we have one, should be composed of persons of religious 
educational insight and vision, and should be elected 
in such a way that its membership may be fairly con- 
tinuous, so as to insure the continuation of policies that 
have been determined upon, at least until there is op- 
portunity to test them out by experimentation. We be- 
lieve in change, but it should be orderly and not spas- 
modic — not merely change for the sake of novelty. 

"Here again this central administrative authority for 
determining educational policies should mediate its 
knowledge of successful religious educational work 
elsewhere, to the local administrators through the con- 
gregational assembly, using the educational and crea- 
tive rather than the ex cathedra or transmissive ap- 
proach. And by group action this authority should bring 
it about through social achievement that every type of 
work essential to successful religious educational effort 
of the creative character should be provided for in the 



THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 55 



local church. No one can predict what types of work the 
local group will require in order to develop creatively its 
spiritual powers, but the committee should be in posi- 
tion to recommend profitable procedures for discussion, 
emendation, and adoption. This we plan to do in our 
own situation, beginning in the Intermediate Depart- 
ment. 



"With hesitation I present here some of the success- 
ful procedures in the organization of religious educa- 
tion carried out elsewhere. We must not think we can 
transfer any one of these successful plans to our own 
situation, for our plan of organization must develop out 
of our local needs and be constantly in process of 
change. Please do not forget this. 

"For churches that still think of preaching as one 
thing and of education as another, the children's sermon 
or the Junior Church seems to meet the needs. This is 
well discussed in H. J. Councillor's The Junior Church. 

"For churches that would cure the evils of denomi- 
nationalism, the community church (under one of its 
several forms) and the larger parish plan seem to fill 
the requirements. There are more than a thousand well 
organized and successful community churches today. It 
must be sadly recorded that the larger parish move- 
ment is more in the realm of hope than realization. 
There are real possibilities in it, however. See E. deS. 
Brunner, The Larger Parish, 

"For churches that use the old-time Sunday School, 
lately rechristened the Church School plan of proce- 
dure, the International Council has issued a plan of or- 
ganization, which follows: 

DIVISION DEPARTMENT AGE-LEVEL 



Cradle Roll or Pre-School Birth to 4 



Children's : 



Beginners 

Primary 

Junior 



4,5 
6, 7,8 
9, 10, 11 



56 THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 



Y. 



oung People : 



Intermediate 
Senior 

Young People 



12, 13, 14 
15, 16, 17 
18 - 24 



Adult: 



25 to death 



Adult 



"There are many variations and combinations in this 
scheme as it is practically used. Some small schools, 
combine into as few as three departments. Others use 
four or five. Large schools sometimes begin the separa- 
tion of the sexes in the junior grade, and very large 
schools have many classes or groups for each age. 
Churches that regard themselves as educational 
throughout are endeavoring to fit this scheme into 
their concept. They speak of the 'Children of the 
Church' with one set of officers and leaders for all the 
activities and programs of that level. The same is true 
of the Young People's Division. It is known as the 
'Young People of the Church' with corresponding 
breadth and inclusiveness. It would be better, it seems, 
to call this division the 'Youth Division' since there is 
also a Young People's Department including only one 
section of the Division. 

"The tendency now is to have larger classes or groups, 
and through the Intermediate Age to include all the 
activities and programs under the proper class or group, 
with the well-known public school platoon system for 
the Sunday sessions. Under this arrangement, worship, 
teaching-learning, fellowship, and activities (the for- 
mer so-called expressional work) would be scheduled in 
such a way as not to interfere with other classes or 
groups. Beginning with the Seniors and in some cases 
with the Intermediates, worship would be with the 
adult congregation. 

"For churches that regard themselves as educational 
throughout, many experimental plans are being tried — 
the Expanded Session, the Graded Church, or some 
such type of organization as recommended by the Com- 
mittee on Church School Administration of the Inter- 
national Council. 

"A few of our more progressive churches and a 



THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 57 



great many forward-looking leaders in the religious 
education movement regard the total work of the 
church as educational and consequently do not think 
there should be a special Committee on Religious Edu- 
cation, but that the Official Board, or the Session, or 
whatever the governing, policy-making body of the 
local church may be, should care for the program of 
religious education, unifying the preaching service, 
worship, counseling, fellowship, activities of all kinds, 
the library, leadership, as well as the so-called instruc- 
tional processes into a single impact on behalf of educa- 
tion in the local group. 

"Of course this is the ideal and should be worked for 
assiduously. But it will be a long time before the local 
churches will ever be able to adapt themselves and their 
procedures to this ideal. Meanwhile we should do all we 
can to implement creative educational procedures in 
local situations. 



"We have been a long time getting this way, and in 
all human probability we will be a long time changing 
to better procedures. This is not said to discourage any- 
one, but to bear testimony to the right of the local 
group to give expression to its freedom of initiative and 
experimentation. The doctrinaire may conclude that 
the old type of organizational procedure should be im- 
mediately discarded. This may be best in local situa- 
tions, but not for the churches as a whole. The old con- 
undrum — 'When is a school not a school?' and its glib 
answer 'When it is a Sunday School,' may be true, 
but local churches have the right to maintain such non- 
schools if they desire. Our schools as heretofore organ- 
ized have not been fully effective, we know. 

"Consider the situation of the early church. Jesus did 
not organize any church. He spoke of the Church, but 
he was thinking of its fellowship and not of its plan of 
organization. In fact the word organization does not 
occur in the New Testament. We know that the early 
church arose out of persecution and carried over the 



58 THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 



procedures of the Jewish Synagogue. This type of local 
worship group arose during the Babylonian Captivity 
and violates the provision for central worship as pro- 
vided by the Jerusalem Temple. These synagogues had 
all the functions of the typical religious institution ex- 
cept sacrifice, which still continued at the central place 
of worship in Jerusalem. They administered justice, 
provided for education, elicited testimony, directed 
worship, and the like. Usually the minimum group con- 
sisted of 120 persons. 

"Perhaps we ought not to leave this matter till we 
say a word about the general church organization. It 
too has undergone change with the passing centuries. 
Perhaps at first the church recognized the primacy of 
Peter, the Apostle; some, however, contend that this 
recognition was preceded by the gradual development 
of the monarchial episcopate. With the Protestant Ref- 
ormation came the rise of the great national churches, 
such as the Lutheran in Germany, the Reformed, and 
the Church of England. As America was discovered and 
began to be colonized, a new idea became regnant, the 
development of powerful denominations through free 
association. Prior to this time, however, the principle of 
the Reformation — 'The religion of the prince is the re- 
ligion of the people/ was being modified by the non- 
conformist groups. Then came the Federal Movement, 
culminating in America in the Federal Council of 
Churches of Christ in America. Most recently we have 
the movement to merge or unite denominations, as an 
outgrowth of the feeling that denominationalism is the 
scandal of Christianity or as a method of practical ad- 
ministration. The Ecumenical Movement launched in 
May, 1938, holds vast possibilities for church union. 
There will no doubt be many such unions in America as 
the union of the three branches of Methodism before 
the final day of Christian union comes. What the future 
holds for the churches, no one is wise enough to fore- 
see. But in any event we see that the Churches have 
exercised their democratic right of free initiative in or- 
ganization, and the probability is that they will con- 



THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 59 



tinue to do so for a long time to come. Let us hope so. 

"To undertake therefore to standardize the organiza- 
tion of religious education is futile, and properly so, be- 
cause experimentation is of the very nature of Chris- 
tianity and freedom to initiate is of its very life. 

"Creatively speaking, organization is a worthy aid or 
valuable means of achieving religious education, which 
should be locally free and indigenous. Organization was 
made for religious education and not the reverse. Super- 
vision should become increasingly creative, or the 
Churches will outlaw it. It can become so." 

After this impromptu talk on organization Dr. Mar- 
tin moved and Miss Terhune seconded the motion that 
the Official Board of the First Church be made the Re- 
ligious Education Committee of the church. This 
motion was unanimously adopted, and thus was forged 
another link in the chain making the whole church re- 
sponsible for the religious education program. 



CHAPTER V 



Miss Terhune Wins 



IT WAS NOW the middle of September. For practi- 
cally two months the Intermediate Department had 
been functioning as the Intermediate Department of 
First Church. The teachers were identified with the Boy 
and Girl Scouts and the Camp Fire. They also attended 
the Intermediate Christian Endeavor and the Mission- 
ary Society. During the summer none of the group at- 
tended Summer School or Conference and none of them 
was engaged in the Reading and Correspondence 
Courses advocated by the denomination. There was 
growing dissatisfaction with the Closely Graded Les- 
sons and something was likely to be done about it 
shortly when the new year began. Already the number 
of persons in the department had grown from fifteen to 
twenty-one and these liked to come, because as one of 
them said — "We never know what is going to happen in 
this group." 

The Department Principal and teachers were sched- 
uled to meet on Wednesday night and to discuss the 
matter of the materials, particularly the Bible, to be 
used during the next quarter. They would like to have 
said "the next year," but they had already learned that 
they could not intelligently plan for a year ahead what 
the felt needs of the group might be. They recognized 
that it was their privilege as teachers to motivate the 
group to feel needs which otherwise they would never 
give expression to. 

When the group met following the church supper, 
all who had attended the supper came to the meeting. 



60 



THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 61 



Dr. Schmidt presided and after expressing the satis- 
faction he felt over the fine way in which the whole 
church was cooperating with Dr. Sherron and respond- 
ing to the program, he introduced him to speak on any 
subject he might desire. 

"I had in mind to talk to the Intermediate Principal 
and teachers about the place of materials in religious 
education," he said, "and unless there is objection I will 
talk on this subject to the entire group, limiting my re- 
marks largely to the place of the Bible in religious edu- 
cation," he added. Dr. Schmidt assured him not only 
that there was no objection on the part of those present 
to have him proceed after this fashion, but rather that 
the whole group would be especially interested in hav- 
ing him present this theme. Having been thus assured, 
Dr. Sherron began by saying that there could be no 
fixed set of materials which they who wished to be re- 
ligiously educated would have to master. Any body of 
knowledge — experience charged with meaning is knowl- 
edge — is valuable so far as it throws light on a problem 
or issue under consideration and only in so far as it does. 
There is nothing sacred about knowledge, he insisted, 
not even about the Bible. 

"But while I shall limit my discussion largely to the 
Bible, please do not think I would rate it down. It has 
long been the chief text-book of the Protestant world. 
Accordingly we had best consider it at this time. Let 
me hasten to add that it must not be used as the sole re- 
ligious source for religious education, for creative 
teaching-learning requires insight and light from every 
source on any problem that may arise. In creative situ- 
ations, all the facts must be faced and after the choosing 
of a tentative outcome, which for the learners in such a 
group then becomes an objective, there must be experi- 
mentation with specific projects or programs of action 
to test its validity," he insisted. 

"It is useless," he said in substance, "so far as charac- 
ter building is concerned to pronounce encomiums or 
panegyrics on the beauty and truth of the Bible, unless 
it is used in the solving of the life problems of living 



62 THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 



persons. There is no doubt that the Bible has been influ- 
ential in molding the characters of persons in the past. 
There is also no doubt that the superstitious reverence 
in which the Book has been held in the past no longer 
influences the attitudes of those of the present day. 
Some one has said that our grandfathers believed the 
Scriptures and read them avidly and that our fathers 
read them and believed not, while we ourselves do not 
even read them. That is an overstatement undoubtedly. 
There are still millions for whom the Bible is the bread 
of life to the soul. There is also a growing company of 
those who appreciate the Bible as the record of man's 
(particularly Hebrew, Greek, and Roman) experience of 
God and who find in its pages uplift and inspiration for 
living as well as insight into their life's problems. 



"Is the Bible God's Word? This is a fair question. We 
must answer it fairly. The answer is, undoubtedly. It 
contains God's Word as those men and women of each 
age successively understood and interpreted it. And so 
also the Tripitaka or Three Baskets of the Buddhists 
contain God's Word, as well as the Classics of the Con- 
fucianists, the Vedas of the Hindus, the Agamas of the 
Jains, the Koran of the Mohammedans, the Ko-ji-ki and 
the Nihon-gi of the Shintoists, the Granth of the Sikhs, 
the Tao-Teh-King of Taoists, and the Avesta of the 
Zoroastrians. These too are records of the experiences 
of men in their sincere efforts to find and understand 
God. These sacred writings contain God's Word as the 
founding fathers of these faiths understood it. The 
sooner we recognize this the better, and we should act 
upon it. Professor D. J. Fleming of Union Seminary in 
New York City has stood for this idea for a decade. In 
two notable books — Attitudes Toward Other Faiths and 
Ways of Sharing with Other Faiths -— he has been very 
specific in his suggestions. A later book, published in 
1935 — Ethical Issues Confronting World Christians, 
maintains the same attitude. Professor Fleming was for 
ten years a teacher in Forman Christian College in La- 



THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 63 



hore, India, before becoming Professor of Missions at 
Union. 

"A colleague of Professor Fleming, Professor R. E. 
Hume, Professor of the History of Religions in Union, 
has the same idea. Professor Hume served as mission- 
ary of the American Board in India for seven years be- 
fore coming to Union in 1914, where he has taught for 
twenty-four years. His first book, The World's Living 
Religions, was factual. It is an encyclopedia in small 
compass of the world's surviving religions, minus pa- 
ganism. His latest book is more practical. Its title is 
suggestive — Treasure House of the World's Living Re- 
ligions in which he undertakes to collect the best out of 
the sacred writings of the world's living religions. His 
worship service at the end, made up of readings from 
all the world's Bibles, is hauntingly suggestive. 

"For one who would understand the unique and con- 
vincing value of the Bible in directing modern living 
and in solving present-day life problems three other 
books will be found of exceptional value. They were all 
published by Macmillan in 1924 and are as follows: 

Harry Emerson Fosdick — The Modern Use of the 
Bible 

Muriel Streibert — Youth and the Bible 
Adelaide T. Case — Liberal Christianity and Religious 
Education. 

And I would add a recent book by W. C. Bower en- 
titled The Living Bible. 

"Long ago, Paul in his Mars' Hill discourse held the 
same general idea. The Laymen's Appraisal Committee 
aptly phrases the same attitude in this language in dis- 
cussing the aim of Christian missions: 

""'To seek with people of other lands a true knowl- 
edge and love of God, expressing in life and word what 
we have learned through Jesus Christ, and endeavoring 
to give effect to His spirit in the life of the world.' 

"This same report in speaking of the attitude Chris- 
tians should assume toward the non-Christian faiths 
says: 

" 'The mission of today should make a positive effort, 



64 THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 



first of all to know and understand the religions around 
it, then to recognize and associate itself with whatever 
kindred elements there are. It is not what is weak or 
corrupt, but what is strong and sound in the non-Chris- 
tian religions that offers the best hearing for whatever 
Christianity has to say. The Christian will therefore 
regard himself as a co-worker with the forces within 
each such religious system which are making for righteous- 
ness.' 

"This is the much discussed doctrine of sharing, 
which is both condemned and lauded in our day — be- 
cause it is not fully understood. Those who advocate 
sharing as the effective approach to the adherents of 
the non-Christian faiths are not acting primarily with 
insinuating tact. Their conviction rests on two valid 
presuppositions generally shared by all liberal Chris- 
tians. First, that all men have been sincere seekers after 
God, and that this quest has not been without its re- 
ward in the discovery of His attitudes toward human- 
ity. And secondly, that God is always and to all men en- 
deavoring to make Himself known, and that as a con- 
sequence we have the several living religious systems 
as concrete evidence that God has spoken to these ear- 
nest seekers, who have interpreted His voice to them 
as best they could in the several Bibles of mankind. 
There is also a third conclusion, held by not a few 
Christians, though some dissent — that the essential 
teaching of each of these living religions is embodied in 
the Christian system and expressed more satisfactorily 
therein and that through the process of appreciative 
sharing the non-Christian will see this and happily em- 
brace the Christian way of life as the most satisfying 
of the spiritual aspirations so far known. 

"There can be no doubt therefore that our Christian 
Bible is in this sense the Word of God. The men who 
recorded that Word heard His voice imperfectly. They 
mistook the mores of the times for the will of the Di- 
vine (/ Samuel IS :3) as men are prone to do even today. 
On this point compare Pearl Buck's Fighting Angel, 
These ancients did not hesitate to ascribe the concep- 



THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 65 



tions of a later age to great spiritual leaders of a former 
day (making Moses the author of the Pentateuch, John 
of the Fourth Gospel, and Paul of / and II Timothy) 
thus securing prestige and authority for their expres- 
sions. They even contradicted one another in their in- 
terpretations of God's procedures with men (/ Chron- 
icles 21:1 and II Samuel 24:1). They made statements 
geographically incorrect (Mark 7:31) and repeated 
whole sections unwittingly (Psalms 14 and Psalms 53; 
Psalms 40:13-17 and Psalms 70; Psalms 57: 7-11 with 
Psalms 60:5-12 as Psalms 108). But they were sincere; 
they needed help and insight, and they got it. We read 
the record of their experiences and we understand that 
God is among men to enlighten their consciences today 
even as He was millennia ago. 



"Is the Bible inspired? Is it a work of divine revela- 
tion? Let me say here that revelation is God endeavor- 
ing to make Himself known to man, while inspiration is 
man's ability to respond to the divine revelation. There 
is nothing mysterious about these doctrines. They are 
facts in human experience. The belief in God and in 
man as His spiritual creature necessitates that God 
should endeavor to express Himself to His offspring. 
Revelation is therefore normal, natural, inevitable. But 
it is just as normal, just as natural, just as inevitable 
that one man should exceed another or at least differ 
from him in the ability to understand and interpret the 
divine revelation. Races too differ in this ability. That is 
why we have the several sacred writings, among which 
we rate those of the Hebrews, embodied in our Bible, 
highest. That is why we have sacred writings at all, 
for if all men were capable equally of the mystical un- 
derstanding of God, there would be no need that other 
men should record their experiences of Him for the 
spiritual leadership and guidance of their brothers. 

"Luke and Paul are our great helpers in arriving at 
tenable views of the process by which revelation and 
inspiration become functionally helpful in the life of 



66 THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 



men. Luke says — 'Forasmuch as many have taken in 
hand [Matthew, Mark, John, Peter, Paul, Jude, and 
others now lost to us], to set forth in order a declara- 
tion of those things which are most surely believed 
among us, even as they delivered them unto us, which 
from the beginning were eye witnesses, and ministers 
of the word ; it seemed good to me also, having had per- 
fect understanding of all things from the very first, to 
write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, 
that thou mightest know the certainty of those things, 
wherein thou has been instructed' {Luke 1 :l-4) ; and re- 
ferring in his Acts of the Apostles to his gospel record 
{Acts 1:1), Luke again says, 'The former treatise have 
I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to 
do and to teach/ A man who knew the record in a nat- 
ural, normal way writes out of his experience to a friend 
that he too might be fully informed. That is the holy 
Scripture. That is inspired authorship. Patient scholar- 
ship, painstaking research, is inspired. How great is our 
debt to the Lukes of the world! 

"And then in the writing of Timothy we are told that 
the real evidence of inspiration is found in certain prag- 
matic tests — in that it is 'profitable for doctrine, for re- 
proof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness' 
{II Timothy 3:16). That is to say, things may be in the 
Bible without being the work of inspiration and we can 
recognize any scripture to be inspired if it is valuable 
for the four purposes mentioned above. 

"Indeed Paul himself, the writer of more books in our 
New Testament than any other man, plainly states that 
not all he wrote was inspired. He was as aware as any 
man of God's mystical presence and the verdict of the 
Christian centuries is that he understood God in a 
unique and helpful way. But at times he was not clear 
as to the divine will ( I Corinthians 7:25). On another 
occasion he was caught up of the Spirit and had experi- 
ences which he did not consider it profitable to relate 
(77 Corinthians 12:1-4). The inspired writer uses his 
best judgment in deciding what to record. This too is 
inspired authorship. 



THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 67 



"It would perhaps be better to say, therefore, that 
the men of the Bible were inspired and that their record 
is to us a constant source of inspiration. God spoke to 
them and they interpreted as they understood. We ex- 
ercise our judgment as to the genuineness of their in- 
spiration or as to its degree, in the importance we at- 
tach to their record in living our lives unto God. This 
view of the Bible, which Paul specifically expressed and 
Jesus clearly implied in His practice, and in His words 
when He said, 'It hath been said by them of old time to 
you, but I say . . . , ' makes it possible for Christians to 
believe in the progressive revelation of God's plans and 
purposes, as men's experiences enlarge. It also removes 
the defensive, apologetic attitude which so many de- 
vout Christians have felt constrained to adopt. We do 
not need to apologize for Christian truth. We should 
proclaim it. 



"We say that our Bible is a unity. This is true in the 
sense that in its every book we can recognize the spirit 
of God endeavoring to make His will and mind and pur- 
pose known, but not in the sense that it is all on the 
same plane of moral and spiritual excellence. There is 
but one Twenty -Third Psalm but one Sermon on the 
Mount, but one Thirteenth of First Corinthians. There 
is but one Parable of the Prodigal Son, but one Twenty- 
Fifth of Matthew, nor does the rest of the Bible re- 
flect the high ethical and spiritual quality of these 
golden passages. Indeed the whole underlying philoso- 
phy of the Old Testament is different from that of the 
New. The Old Testament is based on the view that 
righteousness pays dividends in worldly prosperity. 
This is the problem of Job, which a later redactor well- 
nigh spoiled for us by appending to the wonderful 
drama the orthodox outcome expected in that day as 
given in Job 42:10-15. But the New Testament repre- 
sents righteousness as its own reward and provides for 
the sacrifice of life itself in the effort to promote it. And 
yet throughout the entire record of both Testaments, 



7 



68 THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 

it is the same divine Being speaking to men and anxious 
to communicate to them constantly growing concep- 
tions of His own loving devotion and of the moral order 
of the universe. 



"In what, then, does the authority of the Bible consist 
and of what use is it to modern men? Do we need a new 
Bible — a synthetic collection, for example, of the best 
religious teachings of all the world's religions, as H. G. 
Wells and others urge? What chance has Bahaism to 
satisfy the deep spiritual needs of man? Or Christian 
Science? Or New Thought? Or the Christion Culture 
Movement? Or Unity? 

"The Bible does have authority in men's lives — in my 
life, in your life. But this authority is not superimposed. 
The Bible is our help, our aid, our assistant in spiritual 
living — not a record that binds the spirit. There is no 
authority that can bind the spirit of man. God has made 
him free. But when, in searching the Scriptures, we find 
principles for life's spiritual guidance which we under- 
stand to be, and identify with, the will of God for man, 
we know that the Bible has authority. Therefore, as sin- 
cere seekers after God's will, we are obligated to know 
the Bible. We are not free to ignore so potent a source 
of spiritual insight. 

"We do not need any additions to our Bible (unless 
we should discover further authentic experiences of 
these men with God), nor any synthesis of the several 
sacred writings — not that the Bible as at present con- 
stituted gives all the spiritual insight that men may 
need, but that the Holy Spirit will interpret the record 
we have in ever-enlarging appreciations, meanings, and 
values, so that the Bible is sufficient for our spiritual 
nurture. Of course, if we do not believe that God is in 
intimate and constant communication with His chil- 
dren in the mystical experiences of men, if we believe 
that He has no further message for us, then perhaps like 
Mr. Wells we might set out on a quest deliberately to 
make a written record that should represent our loftiest 



THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 69 



aspirations. But in view of the spiritual illumination 
and enlargement of man through communion with God, 
the futility of such procedure seems evident. For the 
questing Christian the canon of Scripture, including the 
Apocrypha, would appear to be ample. 

"But just as there is a Bible according to each Chris- 
tian, so there is a canon of the Scriptures according to 
each one. This is of course the Protestant view, accord- 
ing to which we are free, not bound by any book, trans- 
lation, or interpretation. It is Protestantism's glory and 
also its danger — the danger that we will rest content 
in our sense of freedom and not make the great store- 
houses of truth and inspiration contained in the canon 
of Scripture and in the Apocryphal books, in the writings 
of the Church Fathers and of our contemporary religious 
leaders, our very own by diligent study, patient research, 
and reflective meditation. Our very freedom will prove to 
be our undoing on any other basis. God speaks to us even 
as He spoke to our fathers ; yes, He speaks to us through 
their experiences. The canon of Scripture is closed, but 
not the voice of God. He continues to 'broadcast' spirit- 
ual messages to the spiritually alert among men, and he 
who has ears attuned to comprehend may hear those 
messages. 

"This view of the Bible, it seems to me, dignifies it and 
dignifies man at the same time. This view brings the 
Bible into the service of life and challenges man to make 
it the efficient ally of his spiritual life. Any man, ac- 
cordingly, who can see a deeper spiritual meaning in 
the Bible than men have seen before is a benefactor of 
his kind and a prophet of God. John Robinson was such 
a man — with his conviction of new light to burst from 
the Scriptures ! Horace Bushnell was such a man— with 
his insistence on the spirituality of life! Phillips Brooks 
was such a man — with his clarion annunciation of God 
as caring for every man ! Wesley was such a man — with 
his demand that the life must be wholly surrendered to 
God! Knox was such a man — with his proclamation of 



70 THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 



the independence of the church from the domination of 
the civil state! How Germany needs such a man as 
Knox today! Paul was such a man — with his doctrine 
of the liberal spirit questing for God and unbound by 
the shackles of the law which had served effectively as 
school master in the conquest of the spiritual life! To 
Paul there are no fetters for the soul. Jesus did not hesi- 
tate to set aside the Scriptures. 'Ye have heard that it 
hath been said by them of old time — but I say unto you/ 
This attitude incensed the ecclesiastics of His day, even 
as it does the doctrinaires of our day. Jesus believed in 
the Bible. He quoted it on the Cross and urged men to 
search its pages as testifying of Himself. But He did 
not propose to bind men slavishly to its ideas. He be- 
lieved that the Bible was made for man, not man for 
the Bible. Paul faithfully taught his Master's doctrine 
of the emancipated soul. But such spiritual freedom 
carries with it a terrible obligation — the obligation to 
know the written word and to react toward it intelli- 
gently, prayerfully, voluntarily, actively in living. 
Where it leads, we must follow. 

"Is the Bible God's Word? By all means. The men 
whose experiences of God it records were conscious 
of their direct apprehension of the Divine. To them, in 
terms of their experience and in the light of their world- 
view, the Bible was God's Word. And it has been God's 
Word to succeeding generations, in so far as its mes- 
sage spoke to their hearts and energized their wills. In 
this vitally real sense, it is God's Word today to us and 
will continue to be to men and women yet to live. And it 
is God's Word in a deeper sense yet — in that it con- 
tains the revelation of Jesus, God's real Word to a grop- 
ing world — proclaiming to humanity the unique worth 
of personality when universally conceived. Our enlarg- 
ing understanding of that Word constitutes the heart 
of the 'Bible According to You' and to me. 



"After all, the vital issue for the religious educator is: 
What use can we make of the Bible in religious teach- 



THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 71 



ing? With the devotional reading of the Bible, with its 
doctrinal study, with higher criticism and the like, the 
religious educator is not primarily concerned. He is 
willing for everyone to use the Bible in any way he may 
desire. He is anxious to discover its value for under- 
standing the problems and issues of life and for organ- 
izing programs of living consistent therewith — to use 
it creatively in the educational process. He will cer- 
tainly not go to the Bible for science, for history, for 
sociology, for physiology, for anatomy, nor for psy- 
chology. He will go to it for its witness by certain per- 
sons to the eternal verities of the ethical and spiritual 
life. To him teaching is the utilization of interest in ac- 
quiring insights into life and the organization of these in- 
sights into programs of living. To him learning is not 
the acquisition of facts, but the by-product of interest 
leading not primarily to knowledge, but most certainly 
to understanding, to real wisdom. To him education is 
not a task, but a quest. Wherever any problem or life- 
issue arises in the field of experience of his fellow learn- 
ers he will cite them to sources of insight and guidance 
of whatever character may be available— to books, to 
living persons, to their own past, and particularly to the 
Bible. It will be for him the chief source of spiritual in- 
sight and understanding. It will increasingly become so 
to them. It will not be used by him or them as a fetish, 
but as an aid, a guide, a source of light and inspiration, 
and of fruitful living. It will be not a restriction on life, 
but rather will it lead to the redirection of life into 
ever-widening paths of abundant living, and this means 
it will be genuinely creative. The source material for 
life, therefore, of primary significance, out-ranking all 
other sources for the religious educator, is our Bible. It 
has made life anew in every generation and will con- 
tinue to do so, provided it is creatively used, provided its 
spirit rather than its letter possesses men's hearts and 
directs their lives. 

"My time is gone," he concluded, "but perhaps the 
principles underlying our theme have been set forth. 
Certainly the Bible is to be used to throw its light on 



72 THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 



any problem we may be considering. I suggest that 
this group say to the Intermediate leaders that it ap- 
proves making experience the basis of the curriculum 
and urges them to encourage the growing persons or 
students in that department to take this approach in 
making their own curriculum, beginning next October." 

This recommendation was unanimously approved 
and the group adjourned. Dr. Sherron walked home 
with Miss Terhune. The night was balmy, and they 
were at her home too early. Dr. Sherron accepted her 
invitation to come in and, as they sat in the parlor, he 
thought he had never seen her look so lovely before. 
She wanted to talk about the proposed course of study 
for the Intermediate Department, but he had other 
matters on his mind. 

"Can't you see, Miss Terhune — Emily," he cried, 
"that I am not interested in the topic you want to dis- 
cuss at all? I — I want to talk about you," he protested. 

Then he drew her to him and poured out his heart 
to her. 

"I love you," he said. "I love you passionately." 

"And I love you too," she replied. 

As midnight drew on Dr. Sherron went to the hotel 
but not before he had secured her promise to be his 
wife and had set the date for the wedding on Decem- 
ber 25, Christmas Day. 

Dr. Sherron was never happier in all his experience 
nor was Emily. 



CHAPTER VI 



The Intermediate Department 
Makes a Curriculum 



It was promotion Sunday in the church 

School of First Church, and all was bustle and con- 
fusion when Dr. Sherron and Dr. Martin appeared on 
the scene fifteen minutes ahead of time. All the teach- 
ers of the department together with their Principal 
were on hand. Nine pupils were being promoted from 
the Junior Department bringing the total enrollment 
of the Intermediate Department up to thirty, fifteen 
boys and the same number of girls. 

After the brief devotional service of the department 
conducted by Dr. Martin, Dr. Sherron took charge and 
asked the group what course of study they preferred. 

"We don't want the Closely Graded, the Group 
Graded, or the Uniform Lessons," said Mary Jones, 
spokesman for the group. 

"How do you know?" asked Dr. Sherron. 

"Well, we don't," replied Mary, "for we have tried 
them all at one time or another." 

"The Closely Graded Lessons/' said Dr. Sherron, 
"provide a separate course for each year. Course VII 
begins for three quarters with the 'Religion in Every- 
day Life,' whereas the fourth quarter treats 'Touring 
Together Through Bible Lands.' Course VIII is designed 
for those of us who are thirteen years of age and deals 
with 'The Making of a Better World,' and for the four- 



73 



74 THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 



teen year olds we have Course IX, 'The Life and Teach- 
ings of Jesus/ 

"The Group Graded Lessons/' he continued, "for the 
same period consist of two lessons on 'We Need One 
Another/ four lessons on 'How God Makes Himself 
Known to Us/ four lessons on 'Making the Best Use of 
the Bible/ three lessons on 'Christmas Gifts of Friend- 
ship/ eight lessons on 'Stories of Early Christians/ four 
lessons on 'Trying Out What Jesus Taught/ four les- 
sons on 'Symbols of Loyalty/ four lessons on 'Living 
at Our Best/ three lessons on 'My Friends and 1/ two 
lessons on 'Friendship with God/ two lessons on 'How 
Our Church Meets Human Needs/ two lessons on 'The 
Christian and His Country/ six lessons on 'My Father's 
World and Mine/ and five lessons on 'Understanding 
Ourselves and Others/ 

"The Uniform Lessons for the same year," he con- 
tinued, "treat in thirteen lessons 'The Ten Command- 
ments and the Teachings of Jesus/ in thirteen lessons 
'Life and Work of Peter/ in the same number of lessons 
'Life and Message of Paul' and 'Lessons from Israel's 
Leaders — Solomon to Isaiah/ " 

"But," said Mary, "We don't want to consider any of 
these courses. Do we have to?" 

"No," replied Dr. Sherron, "but you will lose a great 
deal not to take one of these courses. Our denomina- 
tional literature is written on the presumption that you 
will study one of these. You will miss the valuable help 
of this literature in case you do not take one of these 
courses," he said. 

"What we want to study," drawled out Mary, "is Tn 
What Work Shall I Invest My Life ?' " 

"All right," replied Dr. Sherron, "are you all 
agreed?" 

They nodded assent. 

It was time now for Dr. Sherron to speak. "Are there 
hot other topics you would like to consider?" he in- 
quired. 

"Not if we may have this one," chorused several 
voices at once. 



THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 75 



"All right," said Dr. Sherron, "your topic is to be 'In 
What Work Shall I Invest My Life?' but where will you 
get books that will help you and how will you proceed 
to study them?" 

"We want first of all to raise certain issues and ask 
certain questions to be answered," they answered. "And 
then we want you to tell us what to do." 

"What issues shall we raise or what questions ask in 
regard to this topic?" inquired Dr. Sherron. 

"Write them on the board for us," said Miss Terhune. 

"That is good," said Dr. Sherron. "Now who will be 
first?" he continued as he went to the board prepared to 
write. 

"I will suggest one," said Mary. "It has puzzled me a 
great deal," she added. "It is this — 'Will the work I 
plan to do develop my life according to the four-fold 
plan of Jesus' life — mentally, physically, spiritually, and 
socially?'" 

"That is a good starter," said Dr. Sherron. "Now 
who will be next?" 

"How would this do?" queried Miss Terhune. " 'Is it 
the work God would have me do?' " 

"Fine," replied Dr. Sherron, "but it occurs to me that 
these two questions have to do with criteria and that we 
should call the first issue — 'What criteria should my 
life work satisfy?' " 

All agreed with him and he then erased the questions 
given by Mary Jones and Miss Terhune from the board 
and in their stead wrote — "What criteria should govern 
me in choosing a life work?" Then two other questions 
were added as follows: "What difficulties do we face in 
choosing a life work?" and "What type of service 
should we keep in mind?" 

"You have asked me to outline a procedure for you," 
continued Dr. Sherron. "I suggest that next time we be 
prepared to give the experiences we may have had in re- 
spect to this topic." 

"They can't be many," said Mary, "because we are 
so young. But we have helped some around the house 
and can tell about that, I suppose," she thoughtfully 



76 THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 



added. "Won't you please make us a speech and in it 
tell us the rest of the procedure you would recom- 
mend ?" 

"All right," said Dr. Sherron, "I will do it, but I really 
ought to have more time to prepare." 

"You have had experience. Talk to us out of that ex- 
perience and tell us about it," Mary insisted. 

"I will first of all discuss — What Is Creative Teach- 
ing?" Dr. Sherron began, "and I should say that I re- 
gard creative teaching as a cooperative enterprise. I 
can't do it alone and certainly no one of you can. All 
persons involved are learners in the process, each of 
you, including your six teachers and your principal. 
Each teacher is in the group to contribute out of his or 
her experience, but the initiators and active agents in 
the situation are the students or growing persons, as 
you have amply demonstrated today. 

"Does this debase teaching?" he asked and then he 
answered, "No. It rather tends to exalt teaching; that 
is, if the purpose of teaching is to lead to understand- 
ing and to intelligent choice and if the goal of teaching 
is character rather than the acquisition of knowledge. 
Creative teaching," he continued, "rests on the funda- 
mental assumption that learning is best achieved under 
conditions of freedom, of sharing, and of responsible 
participation on the part of students or growing per- 
sons. Teaching, in other words, is not 'getting people 
told' but stimulating growing persons to arrive at in- 
telligent understandings of their problems. Not all who 
are in a creative teaching-learning situation will arrive 
at the same conclusions. Some will come forth with one 
view and some with another, but all who are in such a 
situation will come out of it with understanding atti- 
tudes. Creative teaching does not impose conclusions on 
growing persons but it does equip them for intelligent 
selection of outcomes. I have said these things before 
but I think they will bear repetition. 

"In a certain town a group of youngsters from six- 
teen to twenty had become distinctly anti-social and 
anti-religious. Windows in public buildings were chal- 



THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 77 

lenging opportunities for destruction and other depre- 
dations were in abundant evidence. Not only did these 
boys not attend religious services, but they were out- 
spoken in their opposition to the church. 

"An adult friend who understood the innate desire 
for initiative on the part of youth casually met the 
leader of this gang of some twenty-two young fellows 
and fell to talking with him about what these fellows 
could do for themselves and the community. It was 
agreed on parting that that evening this leader and two 
or three others would come to the home of the adult 
friend to talk things over. Promptly at eight that night 
the whole gang appeared. It was warm weather, the 
porch was ample, and so there was no embarrassment. 

"It was finally decided to organize a club to which 
was given the secret name Y.C.C. The club would have 
its own headquarters in a vacant store, and each mem- 
ber would bring some article of furniture. There would 
be formal meetings on Wednesday evenings and Sun- 
day mornings, and informal gatherings at headquarters 
all the time. The headquarters must never be locked. 
'No, Sir, we will not study any quarterly or books. We 
want to talk over our problems on Sunday mornings, 
but we are not going to be a Sunday School class/ they 
assured their adult friend, who was chosen as leader 
and counselor. 

"A committee was appointed on headquarters. It was 
decided to spend the first Sunday morning — this was 
Thursday, I think — in talking over problems. A com- 
mittee on constitution and by-laws was also appointed. 

"By Sunday morning the building had been 'leased' 
and furnished — such furniture, but it was real personal 
property and who cared if it did not harmonize? Sunday 
morning the committee on constitution and by-laws 
reported. The discussion of their report occupied all the 
time before the preaching hour in the church. Not a 
boy went to church, but since the adult leader was a 
member, the group adjourned promptly at 10:45 so that 
he could go. 

"The constitution provided that the purpose of the 



78 THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 



group should be to develop the social, recreational, and 
citizenship interests of the members and that no boy 
could belong who lived more than a mile and a half 
from the town. The by-laws provided that a 'feed' 
should be held each Wednesday night, the 'entertainers' 
to provide the 'banquet' expense, that there should be a 
baseball team with daily afternoon practice and a Satur- 
day match game, a monthly social when sisters, 
mothers, dads, and others would be invited, and at least 
one general picnic during the summer. The first 'feed' 
night was then set as the time to consider the problem 
of the next Sunday's discussion. 

"Wednesday night soon came and the whole gang 
was there. Two other adults were also brought to the 
meeting — understanding friends of boys — and they 
were elected to honorary membership after amendment 
of the constitution had been effected to permit it. It was 
decided to discuss next Sunday — Shall we play cards in 
our headquarters? Other questions later to be discussed 
were, Can we afford to dance? How should we treat 
girls? What is our relation to our dads? Have we any 
duties as citizens? What can we do for the town? Is 
drinking wrong? How should we use the Bible? How 
should we spend Sunday? 

"The baseball team was meanwhile losing consist- 
ently. It had no satisfactory pitcher, but a good one 
lived two miles from town and he was anxious to join. 
Here was a real test. Should they allow him to play and 
say nothing about it? Should they change the constitu- 
tion to admit him? The discussion was warm and ear- 
nest. It was decided to stand by the constitution and 
lose games. Something was happening to the lives of 
these boys. 

"The adult leader and honorary members associated 
with the boys on a natural basis in the headquarters, at 
games, and in every possible situation. Nothing was 
said about the church. But one Sunday morning late in 
the fall, it was decided to discuss next time whether the 
group would become a regular Sunday School class. 
After discussion it was voted to apply for membership, 



THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 79 



if they could be a discussion group and not study a 
quarterly or book, and if they could meet at head- 
quarters as before. The Superintendent was glad to re- 
ceive them. Some six months later the boys decided 
they wanted to discuss their relation to the church. It 
was done the next Sunday and they decided they would 
a week from then go to church in a body if their adult 
members would accompany them. The minister was 
happy and prepared a sermon on 'Young Christians' a 
real appreciation for youth in relation to the Kingdom. 
It was a red letter day. Church attendance became reg- 
ular after that. 

"A year was gone and a mighty transformation had 
occurred. These boys were in Sunday School. They at- 
tended church. They ceased to destroy public property. 
Their high school records were improved. They felt a 
pride in their community. Their life-ideals were per- 
ceptibly lifted. There had been no preaching, no Sun- 
day School teaching of the orthodox type. Every prob- 
lem had not only been discussed, but intelligently dis- 
cussed, by which is meant that they sought understand- 
ing by talking with their elders and reading books and 
articles. There was a Bible in the club library at head- 
quarters, and it was frequently appealed to, but only as 
any other book would be used on occasion. 

"This was in 1916. These boys are now men of fami- 
lies: for the most part, college and professional school 
graduates. Several of them went to the World War. 
One of them has 'gone West/ One is a preacher, one a 
professional chemist, two are lawyers, two are dentists, 
one is a lumber man. Three have not turned out very 
well. The Y.C.C. has long since ceased to be. It had 
served its day and should have ceased to be. There is 
no need to perpetuate an organization beyond the time 
of its usefulness. Organization exists to promote life, 
and not to standardize it. When will religious educators 
learn this? 



"What technique may be used? It is clear that the 



80 THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 



Herbartian technique will not wholly apply in creative 
teaching. This technique has become solidified around 
five steps as follows: 

Preparation — of an assignment. 

Presentation — through teacher prodding or other 
method. 

Assimilation — through the apperceptive approach. 
Generalization — the discovery of certain principles 
for conduct. 

Application — seeing how these principles can be used 
in living. 

"This technique so characteristic of present-day 
teaching, much of it effective despite the faults inherent 
in the approach, is suited to a teacher-controlled situa- 
tion. There it works admirably, and particularly in re- 
ligious education. But when the learner becomes the 
initiating agent in the situation and his actual experi- 
ence is expressed in a problem to be solved or an issue to 
be understood and programized, this technique be- 
comes woefully inadequate and unsuited. 

"At this point caution must be given against the iden- 
tification of any technique with the creative approach. 
There is no creative technique, though the creative ap- 
proach involves certain elements, ingredients, pro- 
cedures, points, steps. This we readily grant and again 
caution against permitting these steps to become solidi- 
fied into a stereotyped process. The technique which I 
set forth is not a blue-print, but rather an engineer's 
table of proceedings. As such, and even then with fear 
and trembling, I set it forth in illustrated form. 

"All that I have said before relative to the term 'crea- 
tive' and its use with due regard to its significance and 
implications applies here with reference to 'experience.' 
To make experience the basis of the curricular approach 
is to be thoroughly modern and up-to-date, I recently 
said. Far better, however, would it be to rely on the 
Herbartian technique and undertake the mastery of ma- 
terials through the transmissive approach than to go at 
the matter of creative teaching in a 'half-baked' way. 
Experience, let us say for purposes of clarification, in- 



THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 81 



eludes not only interest, but conduct and activity as 
well. An experience is an event to which we give atten- 
tion, and does not connote a mere train of 'happen- 
stances/ What we need is an approach that will be 
adaptable and tend to further a curriculum based on 
such experiences. 

"We undertake now to supply that need under four- 
teen points, elements, procedures. Necessarily these will 
be given in numerical order, but this does not mean that 
the teaching process in any given situation will advance 
logically or numerically from the one step to the other. 
In fact, except for special emphasis, it is not proper to 
think separately of these items as steps, but as constitu- 
ent elements or indivisible parts of an integrated whole. 

"1. REALIZING THE PROBLEM. Techniques for dis- 
covering the problems of experience are basic, but can- 
not be discussed here. These techniques will bring the 
group to see their problem as of real, vital, vibrant 
importance to them. It is well also to concretize the 
problem in a definite situation. It is not sufficient to re- 
solve to study the race problem out of a concrete situa- 
tion. The problem must grow out of a definite experi- 
ence. 

"For example, a Southern college entertained the 
Student Volunteers of the colleges of the state. Negro 
volunteers came. They sat indiscriminately in the 
chapel, attended public receptions, in one instance were 
kept over night in a white professor's home and were 
served their morning meal alone in his breakfast room. 
Result: some students and professors left the audience 
before the first program of the session began. Some citi- 
zens planned a public indignation meeting and an ap- 
peal to the public press. The Sunday School class com- 
posed of seniors studied the race question for six weeks 
and brought matters to a head in a great public forum 
service on a Sunday evening. But every college class, 
every other Sunday School class, every bull session of 
the campus had for six weeks discussed the issues in- 



82 THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 



volved, with much heat, but little light. 

"In any event, here was a problem realized and con- 
cretized — meeting the first condition of an experience- 
centered curriculum. 

"2. DEFINING THE ISSUES INVOLVED. John Stuart 
Mill said that half of our questions would be solved by 
an agreement as to the terms. Even then we would have 
vital differences respecting many matters. The issues 
of the situation should, therefore, be denned. This 
does not mean that, as investigation proceeds, the 
issues may not be modified. But tentatively at least, in 
the handling of any problem the issues should be listed. 
In the problem above stated, the issues were these: 
Should negroes and whites attend public meetings, sit- 
ting indiscriminately and taking part naturally in the 
group proceedings? If this is not approved as a general 
procedure, are there any circumstances under which it 
would seem proper? Should the races ever attend public 
social functions together? Should a white man ever en- 
tertain a negro in his home? Do these matters have 
special concern for college students? 

"The issues of every problem should be defined some- 
what after this fashion, not with finality, but tentatively. 

"3. SEARCHING THE GROUP'S EXPERIENCES. Early 
in the resolution of the problem, the group experiences 
involving the issues will be pooled. The wider and more 
varied the experiences of the group, the more insight 
they will throw on the problem. In the college senior 
group, which we are using as illustrating our procedure, 
persons from several states were present — five Southern 
states, Delaware, New York, Indiana, Cuba, and Can- 
ada. The folkways of these several sections in handling 
racial problems were wonderfully illuminating. The 
mere statement of personal experience gave a new con- 
tent to tolerance. 

"4. SEARCHING THE RACIAL EXPERIENCE. (At this 
point we break new ground. The three points already 
considered require personal thought and now we must 
see what others have thought.) Mankind has a long 
line of recorded attitudes to any problem. My own ex- 



THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 83 



perience is too limited and circumscribed to serve as a 
final basis of determining or implementing my conduct. 
The same is true of any group, varied and rich though 
its experiences have been. What does the past teach us? 
Respecting our particular problem, these questions 
were raised and answers sought: Is the race question 
peculiar to our time? How did other ages meet this 
problem and what were the consequences? What is the 
basis of race? Is it in the blood? Or the climate? Is one 
race inherently superior to another? What stigma at- 
taches to the negro in America because of his previous 
condition of servitude? Has the Bible any light for us 
on this issue? 

"Each of these questions required patient and thor- 
ough study and added greatly to the group's under- 
standing of the problem. 

[Note: The Bible takes its place, as I said recently to 
a group here, in an experience-centered curriculum 
along with the other records of human experience. 
Since it gives us many of the best instances of man's ex- 
perience of God, it takes on a new value in the experi- 
ence-centered curriculum, in which it illuminates our 
present problem, but is not approached as a body of 
knowledge to which present experience should be made 
to conform. It thus serves life without circumscribing 
it.] 

"5. ANALYZING THE SITUATION. When the facts are 
in, facts arising both out of personal and out of racial 
experience, the group is then prepared to analyze the 
situation into its component factors. Tentatively this 
was done in defining the issues, but now the problem 
is viewed in its total relational aspects. It has grown 
with investigation. It should here be added that the 
sources of experience consulted as provided above will 
answer most of the issues raised at the beginning. The 
race problem thus comes to have consequences for the 
home, for the school, for industry, for the church, for 
politics both national and international, for our social 
and leisure interests, as well as for us personally or for 
our particular group. Careful analysis led the group to 



84 THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 



sense and understand all these factors. 

"6. ANALYZING THE RESPONSE FOR OUTCOMES. 
We want our investigation to yield us not only intel- 
lectual understanding, but moral and spiritual insight. 
This can only be achieved by considering all the pos- 
sible outcomes. Keen insight, reflective thinking, dis- 
criminating judgment based on facts, are required at 
this point. If the issue is so drawn that the values in- 
volved in the several outcomes are practically equiva- 
lent or at least in the beginning appear to be equivalent, 
we have a situation that promises tremendous dividends 
for learning. 

"Our group, in studying the race problem, considered 
the outcomes from the standpoint of their college, their 
college mates, their homes, the nation, the college com- 
munity, their sister colleges, the negroes, the church, 
themselves. At times their heads were in the clouds, but 
the teacher always tried to keep their feet on the ground. 

" 'We are not settling this problem for all time,' he re- 
peatedly had to remind them. 'We must arrive at a solu- 
tion that challenges us with an immediate program/ 
he would urge. Some people want to solve a problem 
in idealistic terms. Religious education must be prac- 
tical and realistic, or else transcendental and so value- 
less, or relatively valueless. 

"7. IDENTIFYING THE POSSIBLE OUTCOMES. An 
experience may be new and fresh and original with the 
individual or the group, but in the long stream of 
human history it has no doubt been met and solved, 
now one way, now another, by various groups. The 
search of the racial experience reveals these several 
outcomes. The possible outcomes of the present situa- 
tion should be identified in terms of the past and 
appropriate symbols attached to them. The race prob- 
lem, for example, was solved in one way by the Israel- 
ites, in another by the Egyptians, in another by the 
Romans, in another by the New Englanders, in another 
by Southerners. This outcome is legal, this humani- 
tarian, this fraternal, this pagan, this Christian. We are 
then ready for the next step. 



THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 85 



"8. EVALUATING THE POSSIBLE OUTCOMES. Here 
is the learning process, so to speak, epitomized. Reflec- 
tive thinking and critical judgment come into full play. 
The group has canvassed personal and racial experi- 
ence for the outcomes of the problem and has given 
them their appropriate symbols and settings. Now 
they are to be drained of their meanings and values, 
their consequences are to be determined, and their rela- 
tive worth decided. Differences of judgment will desir- 
ably arise. Reconcilement will be hopefully sought by 
an appeal to history. Oftentimes a re-examination of 
source materials will be necessary. The evaluating 
process should not be hastened. Slurring here deepens 
prejudice and substitutes opinionatedness for thinking 
— the defeat of true learning. 

"9. CHOOSING AN OUTCOME. Let it not be assumed 
that the best outcome as the teacher sees it will be 
chosen as soon as it is stated and evaluated. Some 
member of the group will challenge the best as too 
idealistic. The teacher's judgment must, however, not 
force itself on the group. The choice must be free and 
voluntary. Sometimes it is necessary to inquire — What 
would Washington or Lincoln or Woodrow Wilson 
have done in this case? Or Mohammed? Or Confucius? 
Or Gautama the Buddha? Or Jesus? If the group de- 
cides on some outcome less than the best, let it be so. 
Have confidence in the ultimate readjustment through 
the subsequent steps of the process. Remember it is to 
be their choice. Personally I have never known a group 
ultimately to choose an outcome other than the best, 
but I always leave them free to make their own choice. 
After a choice is made, there are five tests which will 
reveal its power, Tightness, or its rashness and impossi- 
bility. 

"10. APPRECIATING THE CHOSEN OUTCOME. A 
chosen outcome is as precious in the eyes of the choos- 
ers as an invention to an inventor, as a newborn babe 
to its parents. Light from every source must be thrown 
on the choice to cause its affectional embrace. This is 
more than corroboration, though that is a part of it, 



86 THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 

and an important one. Its beneficent consequences 
must be viewed and forecast from every point of view. 
Intellectual assent or corroboration is one thing. The 
affectional appreciation of a choice goes far deeper in 
eliciting the heart's devotion, a sine qua non of worthful 
learning. 

"11. EXPERIMENTING WITH THE CHOSEN OUT- 
COME. The pragmatic test is the real test. Will this 
decision work? If not, we must begin all over again. 
If our choice was less than the best, it will perhaps be 
revealed at this point. Is our outcome designed to pro- 
mote personality? Set up projects adapted to the choice, 
determined by the group, of course, and see how it 
comes out. Don't let the teaching process end in a 
vacuum of investigation and thought. Rigorously, fear- 
lessly try it out. 

"12. GENERALIZING THE CHOSEN OUTCOME. 
There is another test besides the promotion of per- 
sonality which the chosen outcome must meet — the 
test of universality, the test of brotherhood, the test of 
service to all men everywhere and all the time. If we 
cannot thus generalize our chosen outcome, it is only 
a partial solution, only a half-way station along the 
highway of human progress. It may be this is all we 
can achieve at present. Then let us frankly admit the 
limitations of our choice and be open-minded for more 
light to burst upon our problem in the future. Practi- 
cal statesmanship sometimes must accept the next best 
step for the immediate activity with its eyes fastened 
on the ultimate goal. There should, however, be no 
compromise of principles. The immediate step must be a 
real step in an on-going approach to the ultimate solu- 
tion. The chosen outcome ought to work everywhere. 
Will it? 

"13. HABITUATING THE CHOSEN OUTCOME. Habits 
are best formed in an atmosphere of appreciative and 
affectional interest. There is no guarantee that the 
repetition of an act lacking this spiritual sanction will 
become a habit. Children may be taken to church, but 
this does not guarantee the habit of church attendance 



THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 87 



in their adult or adolescent years. Activity must be 
tinged with emotional desire if habituation therein is 
to be assured. The chosen outcome must be thus haloed 
and must become emotionally conditioned, so that the 
will responds joyfully to situations involving its in- 
telligent elements. 

"The question of the transfer of training is involved 
here. Psychology has certainly demonstrated that ab- 
stract character traits such as honesty, truthfulness, 
love, cannot be taught, and so such habits in one situa- 
tion are not automatically transferred to another. We 
learn in specific situations and can transfer our learned 
habits only when certain conditions are met. These con- 
ditions are known to be: that there should be and are 
common elements in content and in procedure; that 
these common elements should be raised to conscious- 
ness; and that there should be desire to make the com- 
mon characteristic or skill permanent in the conduct 
program. In reducing the chosen outcome to habit, 
therefore, it should be viewed in as many situations as 
possible. 

"14. INTEGRATING THE CHOSEN OUTCOME. Scien- 
tific investigation, reflective thinking, critical judg- 
ment, purposeful choice are all necessary and valuable 
in the learning process. We cannot move forward in 
experience without the analytical processes these pro- 
cedures involve. But we must synthesize our conclu- 
sions, we must integrate them into our total experi- 
ence, we must relate them to our fundamental phi- 
losophy of life. We are in danger of becoming split per- 
sonalities with compartmentalized areas of interests, at- 
titudes, skills, and habits — Dr. Jekyls and Mr. Hydes — 
unless our chosen outcome in any particular situation 
takes its consistent place in the orderly household of the 
soul. Suppose our chosen outcome does not readily 
orientate itself into our life philosophy. Either our 
chosen outcome is faulty or our fundamental life as- 
sumptions need re-evaluation and adjustment. This 
synthesis, this orientation, this integration, is the 
crown of the teaching process. The group and each 



88 THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 



member of the group must be brought face to face with 
these philosophical implications of the chosen out- 
come and must find unity and peace of mind. So does 
the experience of life build character and strengthen 
personality. 

"In the forum session to which reference has been 
made, the whole problem presented by the attendance 
of negro Student Volunteers was reviewed and frankly 
discussed. At the end the leader raised this question: 
If we should be asked next year to entertain this group, 
would you favor inviting negroes to attend? A rising 
vote was taken and every student present rose to his 
feet in an affirmative response. A Christian college had 
received a genuine experience in religious education. 

"The technique I suggest/' he concluded, "is there- 
fore: 

1. Realize the problem. 

2. Raise issues. 

3. Search personal experience. 

4. Search racial experience. 

5. Analyze the situation for the factors involved. 

6. Analyze the situation for possible outcomes. 

7. Identify the possible outcomes. 

8. Evaluate the possible outcomes. 

9. Choose an outcome (it then becomes the objec- 
tive so far as the learners are concerned). 

10. Appreciate the chosen outcome. 

11. Experiment with the chosen outcome. 

12. Generalize the chosen outcome. 

13. Reduce the chosen outcome to habit. 

14. Integrate the outcome with the total life philoso- 
phy." 

"My," said Mary Jones, "it will take us a long time to 
handle this matter by this technique. But what troubles 
me is where we will get the books to help us." 

"Bring in next time any books you may have or may 
have heard about," replied Dr. Sherron. 

Then Mary Jones moved and Thomas Smith second- 
ed that they follow the procedure outlined by Dr. Sher- 
ron for consideration of the topic they had agreed upon. 



THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 89 



The hour was gone and in a body they attended the 
worship service of First Church. 

That night at Christian Endeavor the group decided 
to use as the theme of the next few Sunday nights 
"What opportunities do the several professions offer 
aspiring youth?" and to invite L. P. Jones, father of 
Mary Jones, to present advertising to them next Sun- 
day night. Mr. Jones, it should be said, was engaged in 
advertising. The group also agreed to report at the 
next meeting any books that they might have or might 
have heard about. A committee of three was appointed 
to suggest the professions to be presented later. 

That night Dr. Sherron walked home with Emily. It 
was past midnight when he slowly wended his way to 
the hotel which was home to him yet. They agreed that 
announcement should be made of their engagement in 
the next Sunday's paper. Her parents had already 
agreed to the betrothal. Dr. Sherron had also told Dr. 
Schmidt and Dr. Martin of it and they rejoiced with 
him. 



CHAPTER VII 



Interest Grows. A Library Begins 



1 HERE WAS GREAT INTEREST manifest when 
the Intermediate Department met in its weekly session 
on the second Sunday in October. Each member was 
anxious to tell his own experience in helping others, and 
it was a great session. One girl had cared for the baby, 
another had washed dishes for her mother, a third had 
baked a cake all by herself. A boy had mowed the lawn, 
another had done the marketing for the family, and a 
third had fired the furnace all winter. 

"But this sort of thing is not what I want this discus- 
sion to deal with," frankly declared Mary Jones. 

"Mary is right," said Mr. F. C. Jacobs, who had been 
designated by Miss Emily Terhune to act as leader dur- 
ing the discussion period for this session. "What we 
want to do now is to list the source materials that will 
help us solve the three issues raised in regard to this 
problem of 'A Life Work/ " he said. "These issues are — 

1. What criteria should govern me in choosing a life 
work? 

2. What difficulties do we face in choosing a life 
work? 

3. What types of service should we keep in mind? 
Now who will tell us what source or sources will help 
us gain the proper insights?" 

"You should not say 'proper/ Mr. Jacobs," inter- 
posed Mary Jones. "That will develop as we investi- 
gate," she insisted. "But I will give three books that I 
think will help us." 

"Well, what are they?" asked Mr. Jacobs. 




90 



THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 91 



First he listed the Bible, and all agreed that it be- 
longed just at that point. 

Then Mary dictated and he wrote on the board as she 
dictated: 

Gilkey's Getting Help from Religion 

Stock's A Life and a Living 

The Adjustment Service — twelve volumes. 

"I do not have a single one of these books," she 
added, "but I discussed the matter with several persons 
and these titles were suggested. " 

Other titles were added to the list which appeared in 
the final form as follows: 

Bushnell, Everyman's Life a Plan of God, said to be the most 

famous sermon ever delivered in America 
Hickman, Christian Vocation 
Crawford, Vocations Within the Church 
Harper, Character Building in Colleges 
Pitkin, New Careers for Youth 
Fryer, Vocational Self-Guidance 
Edgerton, Vocational Guidance and Counseling 
Proctor, Education and Vocational Guidance 
Lowe, Religious Vocations 
Filene, Careers for Women 
Fleming, Marks of a World Christian 
Weaver, Choosing a Vocation 
Hollingworth, Vocational Psychology 
Brewer, Vocational Guidance Movement 

Studebaker and Williams, Choosing Our Way (a discussion of 
methods) 

Mott, Future Leadership of the Church 

Cavert, Securing Christian Leaders for Tomorrow 

Coe, Psychology of Religion 

Kitson, The Psychology of Vocational Adjustment 

Stock, Preparing for a Life Work 

Parsons, Choosing a Vocation 

Babson, Making Good in Business 

Eddy and Page, Creative Pioneers 

Johnson, Eco?wmics and the Good Life 

The Six pamphlets published by the U. S. Department of the 
Interior, Office of Education, No. 18 (Vols. 1-6 inclusive) 

Youth Action in Building a Christian Economic Order pub- 
lished by the International Council. 

"What is the need of mentioning these sources ?" in- 



92 THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 



quired a voice. "We do not have them. Where can we 
get them?" 

"How would it do to post a list of those in the Public 
Library?" asked Dr. Sherron. 

"We will have to ask the Librarian to put them on re- 
serve so that we may read them when we call," said 
Mary Jones. 

"But suppose they don't have them in the Library? 
What then?" inquired Miss Terhune. 

"I will ask the Official Board to consider what is best 
when they meet Wednesday evening, if you desire it," 
said Dr. Sherron. 

All agreed to this arrangement and asked Dr. Sher- 
ron to put on reserve at the Public Library whatever 
books he himself might have or borrow, by Monday 
noon so that they might be consulted. He promised to 
do this, and the group adjourned, agreeing to report 
next time what the sources might have to say about the 
issues that had been raised. 

That evening at the Christian Endeavor session every 
person of the Intermediate Department was present to 
hear what Mr. L. P. Jones might have to say about ad- 
vertising as a profession and to receive the committee's 
report on future professions to be considered. 

Mr. Jones was presented by Miss Emily Terhune and 
spoke quite interestingly on the profession of advertis- 
ing for twenty minutes. He made it clear that advertis- 
ing is not falsifying the product in any particular and 
that legitimate advertising is a part of salesmanship. It 
is not a desire or a device to get money out of people 
with no return. He insisted that he had long since got 
over the idea that if we build a better mouse trap than 
anyone else in the world people will somehow find out 
where we are doing business. He declared that this is a 
false statement and that advertising is telling people 
where we are at work. After his presentation many 
questions were asked him, to all of which he gladly re- 
sponded. 

Then came the committee's report: 

"We are of the opinion that we should consider for 



THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 93 



the most part," said the report, "the professions or call- 
ings represented in our city, so that we may have rep- 
resentative speakers to address us, as Mr. Jones has to- 
night. We therefore recommend the following tenta- 
tive list: Agriculture (Mr. Allen of the State College 
Faculty), Architecture (Mr. Schnell), Banking (Mr. 
Huston), Book Binding (Mr. Beard), Carpentry (Mr. 
Ellen), Cooking (Mrs. Ellis), Dentistry (Dr. Seeman), 
Engineering (Mr. Hall), Furniture Making (Mr. Hall- 
ings), Journalism (Mr. Gunn), Law (Judge Elton), 
Law for Women (Judge Allen), Medicine (Dr. Gray), 
Millinery (Mrs. Akers), Ministry (Dr. Schmidt), Min- 
ister of Education (Dr. Sherron), Radio (Mr. Silver), 
Stenographer (Mr. Corliss), Social Service (Mrs. Alt- 
house), Teaching (Dr. Martin), and Wireless (Mr. 
Jacobs). 

"There are many other professions we could recom- 
mend, but we think this list will do to begin with and 
we recommend its adoption." 

From the floor there were added: Dairying (Mr. Cul- 
ler), Bookkeeping (Mr. Carmack), Chemistry (Mr. Mc- 
Nally), Laundering (Mr. Randall), Librarianship (Mr. 
Kuhlmann), Printing (Mr. Raper), Photography (Mr. 
Reeves), and Musicianship (Mrs. Archer). 

The list was then approved and Miss Terhune was 
asked to arrange for the topics to be presented when 
convenient, to be announced in advance with the dis- 
tinct understanding that the list should be regarded as 
tentative. Dr. Schmidt agreed to present the ministry 
as a life work at the next meeting. 

The group also reported the following books as help- 
ful: Lockhart (Ed.), My Vocation; Hall, Youth's Work 
in the New World; Hall, New Occupations for Youth; 
Coyle, Should Women Work after Marriage? ; Weaver, 
Medicine as a Profession; Sims and McCulloch, Wo- 
men and Leadership. 

Dr. Sherron was asked to place these, if possible, on 
the reserve shelf at the Public Library along with the 
books and other sources listed for the Intermediate De- 
partment in the morning session. 



94 THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 



The group then adjourned and Dr. Sherron walked 
home with Miss Emily Terhune and discussed the an- 
nouncement of their engagement which had appeared 
in the TELESCOPE that day. It was a most happy 
evening and he felt certain he had chosen the one 
woman in all the world to be his helpmeet. She was re- 
solved to be the best possible companion for him. 
Withal it seemed to be a happy match. Her parents too 
were delighted with the prospect and a fine letter had 
come from his parents approving the venture and wish- 
ing the young couple every happiness. No one seemed 
to oppose the approaching nuptials. When he walked 
back to the St. Atlas that night it was with happy recol- 
lections and fondest anticipations. 

After the church supper on Wednesday night Dr. 
Sherron met with the Official Board. Dr. Schmidt pre- 
sided and Dr. Martin was a member. Dr. Schmidt rec- 
ognized Dr. Sherron as having a matter of greatest im- 
portance to present to the Official Board in its capacity 
as "Committee of Religious Education." 

"I regret to have to appeal to you," he began, "on be- 
half of the Intermediate Department. At their meeting 
last Sunday they told of their experiences in helping 
about the house and then made a list of source mate- 
rials they would like to have access to during the week 
in order to prepare themselves adequately for telling 
the past experiences of the race with reference to the 
choice of a lifework. I should say in this connection 
that they threw into the discard the Closely Graded, 
Group Graded, and Uniform Lessons and decided to 
consider 'In What Work Shall I Invest My Life?' I was 
asked to see which of these books were in our Public 
Library and to place with them on reserve whatever 
other sources I could get hold of. I found a few old 
books in the Library and gathered some others from my 
own library and from friends. But even then we lack 
twenty-five listings of having the books they required 
as sources. Then I did something that I had not been 
asked to do. I asked the Librarian to get these books 
and to place them on reserve. The Librarian is Mr. 



THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 95 



Kuhlmann as you know, a member of our church. He 
doubted if his committee would approve their purchase 
since they were not for general use. He did not say for 
'sectarian use' but that is what he meant. I then went 
down town to the book stores of our denomination and 
of the M. E. people and purchased the books myself, 
paying $48.00 for them and took them to Mr. Kuhl- 
mann. He agreed after much arguing to place them on 
the reserve shelf for the present, but could not promise 
to keep them there indefinitely. And so the matter rests. 
What shall we do?" he queried at the end. 

"Do you think a library is a necessity with the new 
type of curriculum?" asked Mr. Jones. 

"I do most decidedly think so," replied Dr. Sherron. 

"Would you give us your view of the library — past 
and future?" inquired Dr. Martin of Dr. Sherron. 
"I would if desired," said Dr. Sherron. 

The group then formally asked him to speak on the 
library and he began by saying that in recent years 
there has been such a growth in public libraries and in 
libraries for schools, that the church library has seem- 
ingly been forgotten or regarded as superfluous. "There 
are at least three other contributing causes for its 
demise; the cost of maintaining it, the type of curricu- 
lum used, and the type of book which made up the 
library collections of the churches in former days. 

"The cost of maintaining a church library is consider- 
able. There is the expense of providing space for it — not 
by any means inconsiderable, especially to be avoided 
when so many other demands are being made on the 
budget, such, for example, as provision for scouting, for 
picnics, for denominational benevolences, and for local 
welfare work. That this is a serious matter is evidenced 
by the fact that recently a large church in a growing 
city voted to add a library 'provided it entails no addi- 
tional expense to the budget/ The young people who 
had sponsored the matter, being stopped from conduct- 
ing a special campaign for support by the church finan- 
cial plan, secured space in the church newspaper to list 
175 desirable books and to request their donation. In 



96 THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 



this way they started their library without taxing the 
church budget or disrupting its unified financial appeal. 
Soon after their collection was started, a saint died and 
left an endowment for the library. What a splendid 
idea! Why should memorial windows, baptistries, com- 
munion tables, church buildings, and the like, consume 
all the bequests left a modern church? Perhaps it is a 
prejudice, but I doubt that there is a finer avenue of 
service open to the generous-hearted than the endow- 
ment of a library for the church. 

"The former type of curriculum did not require a 
library. It did not even require a Bible. The quarterlies 
published by the denominational or interdenomination- 
al publishing house supplied all the information needed 
in the 'degurgitation process' styled teaching in Sun- 
day Schools, when the lecture by the 'teacher* did not 
make them likewise equally unimportant. So when the 
public and school libraries supplied such books as were 
needed for their curricular purposes or for general read- 
ing, why should the church continue to carry such an 
item of expense in its already over-taxed budget? 

"But perhaps the most devastating argument against 
the church library was the type of book it provided. Not 
being related to the curriculum, the library selected its 
books for recreational reading. I borrowed a great 
many books in my boyhood from the church library and 
recall that they were all built after a certain pattern. In 
these Pansy books, the good boys and girls died young 
and went to Heaven. Bad boys and girls lived on to 
pester their elders and perhaps have time to repent and 
so save their immortal souls. I chose to live, and rejoice 
today that that type of book is no more. The scars on 
my soul still linger however. It was great gain for that 
type of library to disappear. 



"However there were farseeing leaders who were 
dissatisfied with such a morbid type of book and who 
instituted measures to improve conditions in the dying 
days of the old church library. The Ladies' Commission 



THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 97 



on Sunday School Books (Unitarian) was organized, 
for example, in 1865 and gave itself to recommending 
a different type of book for church libraries. The 
Church Library Association (Episcopal) came into be- 
ing in 1879 'to examine books with reference to their 
fitness for Sunday School and parish libraries in the 
Episcopal Church and to publish lists of such books as 
it can recommend.' For the Congregational Churches 
the Connecticut Ladies' Organization, organized in 
1881, did similar work. In 1886 a National Sunday 
School Library Union was organized in New York City. 
Its purpose was stated as being 'by consultation and co- 
operation to increase the usefulness and promote the 
interests of church and Sunday School libraries.' The 
hour of the library's death had struck, however, and 
so this commendable 'union' enterprise soon passed 
out. This does not mean that some churches have not 
all along maintained libraries, but that as a general 
thing such libraries ceased, and where they were con- 
tinued, they were maintained for the most part for vol- 
unteer workers in the local church. 

"Almost a half century ago voices were being raised 
on behalf of church libraries of a different type. In that 
year Miss Margaret T. W. Beller wrote — 'more and 
more the Church is perceiving that it has not been com- 
missioned to erect an ecclesiastical system nor to devise 
a theology, nor to lay down a system of moral teaching, 
but to give life and give it more abundantly.' In Vol. 40 
of the New Englander we find Rev. O. A. Kingsbury 
saying — 'Whether a book is professedly religious or not 
is really of no consequence; whether it holds up a true 
and high character is of immense consequence. 
Whether it is a professedly religious biography or not, 
is of little consequence. That it depicts a true man who 
feared God and worked righteousness is everything. A 
book developing in a way level to the youth's appre- 
hension some branch of science — of course from the 
Christian point of view and in a Christian spirit — may 
be a better book by far than many a so-called religious 
story.' Strong words, these, and genuinely prophetic ! 



98 THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 



"I have recently visited beautiful church plants in 
many cities of the South, mid-West, and East, and only 
rarely have I seen any provision in the plant for a 
church library. I have consulted the sample plans for 
such plants by some of the best church architects in the 
country with the same result. I have also read with care 
the two recent books essaying to treat religious educa- 
tion comprehensively — that edited by Lotz and Craw- 
ford entitled Studies in Religious Education and that 
by J. M. Price entitled An Introduction to Religious 
Education, and in neither is there any discussion or 
recognition of the need for library facilities in modern 
religious education procedures. Nor do the Standards 
A and B adopted by the International Council and 
representing the ideals of more than thirty denomina- 
tions in religious educational work make mention of the 
library. Yet there is a demand, a growing demand, on 
the part of creative teachers and leaders for these 
facilities in our churches. These teachers and leaders 
are now oftentimes forced to provide reading materials 
at their own expense, and naturally under such circum- 
stances their teaching lags sorely behind their ideal. 
For what the library is to the school or college or uni- 
versity, the sine qua non of original and constructive 
work, a necessary educational adjunct, the library must 
become in the teaching-learning process of the church 
whose leaders aim at creative work. Lynn Harold 
Hough speaks eloquently of the 'religious illiteracy of 
the laity/ and recognizes it as being a serious barrier to 
spiritual progress. But how can the situation be other- 
wise, with no provision for a broadening vision such as 
the proper sort of church library would supply? 

"We cannot trust public libraries to supply this need, 
as I have shown. Oftentimes their librarians are not re- 
ligiously inclined and the spirit of sectarianism has mil- 
itated against the development of religious sections in 
such libraries. The homes of the people ordinarily can- 
not stand the expense of providing such reading ma- 
terial, and even if they could, the parents lack the 
knowledge of what sort of books and other reading ma- 



THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 99 



terials to purchase. Why should the church not function 
willingly in this field? In these depression days, per- 
haps we must delay, but there can be no doubt as to the 
primary obligation of the church to enter this door of 
service. The new type of curriculum will make it im- 
perative for the church to do so. 



"How shall the church motivate its constituency to 
read the books its library may provide? Socials in which 
persons dress to represent characters in books acces- 
sible to the participants may encourage those who im- 
personate them to read such books in advance and 
those who look on to read them afterwards. Or there 
may be a fellowship service in which the price of 
admission is a brief quotation from a book selected from 
a list printed in the church bulletin or newspaper as 
being available in the library. There are various other 
ways of advertising the books available and of whetting 
the appetite for their reading. It should be said that 
books on shelves are sorry possessions for any church, 
but books being read are avenues of vital service to the 
constituency. In some way, by novel plans and by those 
that have been tried elsewhere with success, the library 
must be brought to the attention of the constituency, 
who in turn must be brought to use its facilities. Here 
is opportunity for effective motivation. 

"A browsing table is a splendid device for encourag- 
ing the reading of books and magazines. It goes with- 
out saying that the quarters provided for the library 
should be cozy, roomy, inviting, and ample, and that 
regular times for borrowing books and for browsing 
should be provided. Certainly the library should be 
opened for an hour before and for an hour after each 
public service in the church, on Sunday as well as on 
week days. No dark corner or reclaimed plunder room 
can adequately serve the intellectual and spiritual in- 
sights of the church, as the library should serve them. 

"But perhaps the greatest force making for popular- 
ity of the library will be the classes or discussion groups 



100 THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 

devoted to the solution of the problems and issues of 
living arising out of the on-going experience of the 
members. The classes or groups will need source ma- 
terials for the understanding of these problems and 
issues. If they can find these materials in the library or 
request that the library secure them, great will be the 
use of its facilities. The Intermediate Department 
wished me to speak at this time of the need for these 
source materials. 



"Many devices have been suggested and successfully 
used in building up a library— such as a library com- 
mittee, lists supplied by publishers, and book reviews in 
religious periodicals, but it is doubtful if these are any 
source of light and understanding for the problem or 
issue at hand. Some creative teachers urge that the 
room in which the group meets should have a cabinet 
for caring for books, magazines, pictures, and other ma- 
terials which may be bought, donated, or lent during 
the consideration of some problem or issue. Would it 
not be better, if there is a library, to reserve a section 
for this purpose? Of course, in the absence of library 
facilities, such a cabinet in the place of meeting is a 
second best provision. 

"It is better to motivate a person to seek the aid of 
a certain book or article pertinent to the understanding 
of some issue with which he is concerned, than to sug- 
gest that he read a certain book. The latter approach 
makes the reading of helpful source material a task. 
The former method makes it a quest, a zestful, adven- 
turous enterprise. We are so constituted that we like to 
do things on our own rather than to be told what to 
do. This was indelibly impressed upon me by a recent 
visit of three children to a home. The children wanted 
to feed themselves, even though they soiled their cloth- 
ing and the tablecloth in the operation. 

"It would be a great mistake to buy the annual sup- 



THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 101 



ply of books for the library all at one time. New books 
are constantly appearing and should be added as they 
appear, better upon the request of some interested pro- 
spective reader. And the classes and groups should be 
encouraged, as they sense the need for it, to make 
requisition on the library for the provision of source 
material bearing on their particular interest. Sometimes 
after a group has handled a problem, the source ma- 
terial will become dead. This cannot be avoided in an 
experience-centered approach to religious education. 
After all, the library exists for life and its service, and 
not vice versa. 

"There are certain staple books and periodicals which 
each church library should have, such as reference 
works, dictionaries, concordances, commentaries, re- 
ligious periodicals, encyclopedias, the various versions 
of the Scriptures, a number of lives of Christ, biogra- 
phies of great Christian leaders, religious fiction, and 
the like. Let the library committee, which may perhaps 
best be constituted of the Librarian, the Pastor, the 
Minister of Religious Education, and a representative of 
each age-level group in the church, select these and de- 
scribe their value in the church bulletin or newspaper, 
and then let it be known that any request for a particu- 
lar book or magazine will, if possible, be supplied. In 
this way the library will soon come to fill an indispen- 
sable place in the life of the church. 

"Undoubtedly the church library is coming back. The 
new type of curriculum and the new appreciation for 
the culture of the religious life through reading will 
take care of that. It is coming back, but with a different 
purpose. The new type of church library will be becom- 
ingly housed by the architect, because it will be the 
very center of the intellectual and spiritual nurture of 
the constituency. It will contain books and magazines 
and other source materials designed to serve as tools 
in that culture. Thus it will quicken the creative impulse 
as it ministers to the persons making up the constitu- 
ency of the church. The day is coming when the church 
which does not provide library facilities will be as much 



102 THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 



out of date as the church which now has only a single 
rectangular room for its preaching services and its 
Church School." 

"I will give a thousand dollars to start our library," 
interposed Mr. Huston, "and then I will endow it by 
giving $25,000 for that purpose." 

Dr. Martin moved to accept Mr. Huston's offer with 
thanks. "But where can we place such a library?" he 
inquired. 

"Why not use the Hut for that purpose?" asked Mr. 
Jones. 

After a lengthy discussion a small committee of 
three members, with Dr. Sherron as ex-officio member, 
was created with power to proceed in the name of the 
Official Board. Dr. Sherron then thanked the Official 
Board for its fine spirit, and withdrew while they dis- 
cussed other matters of great moment for First Church. 

He went hastily to find Emily at home. They talked 
over the plans for the Intermediate Department. She 
artfully inquired how many books listed as desirable by 
the Intermediate Department and the Christian En- 
deavor Society were in the Public Library. 

"They are all there," he answered. 

"But that is not w T hat I asked," she replied. 

"I found what were in the Library, secured what I 
could from my own library and from friends, and 
bought the rest and put them there," he said simply. 

Then they talked of more intimate matters, and he 
did not leave for his hotel till her father, Mr. J. T. Ter- 
hune, had come in and given them his blessing in per- 
son. To be truthful Dr. Sherron did not arrive at the 
St. Atlas until the clock was striking one. Happy man 
and happy ending for what had appeared to be a hope- 
less situation for the library venture! 



CHAPTER VIII 

First Church Adopts a Program 



On SUNDAY MORNING following the recent 
session of the Official Board in its capacity of Com- 
mittee of Religious Education, Dr. Schmidt announced 
the generous gift of Mr. Huston and said that the 
special committee had arranged to use the $1000 to pay 
the salary of the Church School Librarian and that for 
the present the library would be installed in the Hut. 
He also announced that a book social would be held 
shortly in the Hut and that the price of admission 
would be a book approved in advance by the Committee 
and a quotation from the book. He said that $500 had 
already been provided in addition to $1000 and that this 
sum would be used to buy standard works, to subscribe 
for periodicals, and to provide for changing the Hut 
into a library room, but that at least $500 additional 
would be needed. He felt sure the money would be pro- 
vided. And then he announced that after the church 
supper next Wednesday evening, Dr, Sherron would 
speak on "A Program of Religious Education for First 
Church. " This announcement was gratefully and ap- 
preciatively received. 

There was a large attendance at the church supper 
the following Wednesday. After the supper the mem- 
bers of the church filed into the lecture room, and Dr. 
Schmidt introduced Dr. Sherron to speak on the sub- 
ject already announced. 

"I am far from believing that the church is to blame 



103 



104 THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 



for the economic mess we are in," Dr. Sherron began. 
"Nor do I think the church should sponsor specific pro- 
grams of action," he continued. "We should always 
stop short of specific action, leaving that to the mana- 
gers of industry who know what they are doing." 

Continuing, he said that the church should always 
speak where the interests of men are at stake, but that 
specific programs of action should always originate 
with the entrepreneurs, the captains of industry. He 
was of the opinion that the church should never be a 
political party. 

Coming directly to his theme, he raised the question 
—"What Should Be the Program of First Church?" 
And then he proceeded to answer his query by giving 
five elements that should enter into such a program. 
First of all he spoke of the program of worship, not only 
as integral to but as characteristic of the church. 

Preliminary to the specific discussion of worship Dr. 
Sherron said that men are beginning to see that the 
church is essentially and vitally an educational institu- 
tion, and they are calling its educational work religious 
education. "The church should aim in its program of 
religious education to provide for worship, for fellow- 
ship, for counseling, for activities, for the progressive 
understanding of the divine purpose through the learn- 
ing-teaching situation, and, if there be any other good 
or elemental need of the human spirit, it should willing- 
ly make provision for its realization also. These pro- 
visions should spread themselves out into all the rela- 
tions of life — domestic, political, educational, leisure, 
industrial, religious. There is no domain or realm of life 
in which the church does not have a stake and for the 
wholesome functioning of which it is not ultimately re- 
sponsible. 

"Through its worship program, which includes its 
preaching service as an integral part in a joint process, 
the church will not aim to put something over on the 
people, but rather to lead them creatively to face the 
realities of experience and in these realities to find God 
and to sense the values inherent in terms of His pur- 



THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 105 

pose. We must worship God in spirit and in truth. This 
means that no outward form must be used that does not 
express a vital reality within, and that all the facts and 
issues involved in any situation should be faced by the 
would-be worshiper. Smoking incense, burning candles, 
jangling bells are an abomination if they do not ex- 
press the inner sentiments of the soul — if they do not 
comport with spirit and truth. Worship should lead us 
to face reality, not to side-step it. It is not an opiate of 
the spirit nor a palliative of the conscience, but an en- 
ergizing of the will to undertake. 

"Worship should, however, result in a sense of har- 
mony, of calm, of peace, but only after the worshiper 
has faced reality realistically. Worship that incorporates 
spirit and truth begins in the realization of personal in- 
sufficiency, passes over into the conviction that there are 
divine resources available which are amply sufficient, 
and outreaches toward these resources, to be followed 
by that sense of harmony, calm, and peace which the 
worshiping heart craves. But meanwhile, if worship is 
to be truly creative, the worshiper has had brought 
home to him the realization of his personal needs, an 
insight into the needs of others, and an understanding 
of God's purposes for the problems and issues involved. 
Peace comes only after all the facts of life have been 
faced. Peace comes, but only after a storm. The wor- 
shiper arises from such a spiritual experience motivated 
and energized for and committed to the program of 
God. Having worshiped, his soul is calm within, but 
restless till God's purpose is accomplished. This means, 
of course, that the sermon as an aid to worship must 
arise out of the group needs and undertake to give di- 
rection to those needs, and this it can never do until and 
unless the people have part in the determination of the 
theme the sermon will treat, cooperate in elucidating it, 
and organize its findings into programs of living. The 
sermon needs to be radically reconstructed in its whole 
approach if it is to contribute to the creative program 
of the Kingdom. The real test of creative preaching is 
that it should send men forth to espouse a cause. 



106 THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 

"The church program will include a ministry to fel- 
lowship. Men are social beings. Their lives crave asso- 
ciation. The church will not undertake to compete with 
other community agencies, but will supplement them. 
Each local situation must determine the fellowship 
program the church should undertake. As guardian of 
the spiritual interests of men, the church must see to it 
that the spirit of human brotherhood permeates the en- 
tire social fabric. The principle involved is the founda- 
tion. The program to make it effective is the superstruc- 
ture. The local architects are primarily responsible for 
this, which means that such programs cannot be stand- 
ardized. 

"More or less, the church has always felt its obliga- 
tion to counsel men. Too often, however, it has con- 
tented itself by mass efforts, which have taken the form 
of denunciation for sin or of exhortation to do the 
right. Individualization has often seemed unnecessary. 
The consequence? Men have gone to psychiatrists (not 
to mention fortune-tellers, palmists, clairvoyants, psy- 
chic mediums) for advice, for advice and counsel the 
human heart must have. The trend toward the psychia- 
trist does not promise w r ell in every particular for the 
spiritual development of the individual man. The psy- 
chiatrist has his place, but counseling is primary among 
the spiritual needs of man. The church dares not neg- 
lect that need. 

"The psychiatric procedure is to discover and resolve 
complexes, to sublimate or redirect desires ; and the psy- 
chiatrist quite often cures by lowering the conscience 
threshold. Complexes are often produced because the 
person knows the higher plane of living, but lives on 
the lower level. The psychiatrist objects to disturbing 
the conscience of the person involved in the curative 
process by any insistence on the idea of sin, but the 
religious counselor aims to awaken the conscience and 
through that method to effect spiritual reconciliation. 
The religious counselor aims to remove hindering 
causes, to broaden the spiritual horizons, to make de- 
sirable ends fascinating, to provide suitable companion- 



THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 107 



ship, to bring the counselee to feel that the highest sat- 
isfaction is to be found in sharing God's will and mind 
and purpose. He does not try to impose his own judg- 
ment upon the counselee, but rather encourages him to 
find his way through the maze of conflicting out- 
comes by objective sympathy, by citation to source ma- 
terials personal and racial, and by the discovery of the 
spiritual values involved. Counseling is far better than 
the confessional, which involves a sense of obligation to 
come to the place of spiritual help. The seeking of coun- 
sel should be voluntary. We must train our ministers 
and other leaders in the religious program in the tech- 
niques and wise use of counseling. However, the coun- 
selor must know his limitations and when the occasion 
demands must utilize the expert services of the physi- 
cian, the psychiatrist, the social worker, and others. 

"The same general approach that characterizes the 
church's attitude to fellowship should characterize its 
attitude toward activities — that is to say, the church 
should not compete with other social agencies, but 
should cooperate with them. All these social agencies 
are children of the church — orphanages, hospitals, 
homes for the aged, libraries, playgrounds, social relief 
and welfare work — and the church should rejoice in 
the work of her children and refrain from competition 
with them. But suppose these programs do not promote 
the spiritual interests of the community? Then the 
church should exercise its responsible duty of pointing 
out corrective measures, and in case these children of 
hers persist to the point of recalcitrancy, the church 
must undertake its own program of service in compe- 
tition with these agencies, until a saner view is taken 
by their leadership. There will perhaps always be need, 
however, of activities specifically fostered and pro- 
moted by the church — not merely in connection with its 
own program at home and abroad and in the local sit- 
uation, but for the community interests as well. Activi- 
ties, however, that arise as projects or experimentations 
out of the teaching process are the most valuable for 
character development. 



108 THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 

"Certainly the church should teach. Jesus was pri- 
marily a teacher. But teaching must not mean to the 
church the process of indoctrination. Jesus said that he 
who would do the will of God should know the divine 
doctrine {John 7:17). Education is not initiation into 
the status quo. It is rather the process of sitting in judg- 
ment on the status quo and making it yield its doctrines 
for the progressive living of life. Christian education is 
the adventurous discovery of the meanings, apprecia- 
tions, and values of experience, personal and racial, and 
the organization of these into programs of living in 
terms of the revelation of God in Jesus Christ as inter- 
preted by the Holy Spirit. This is the thing the church 
should strive to achieve in its teaching-learning situa- 
tions. This will mean the passing of uniform lessons, 
the passing of text-books for general use, the passing of 
courses of study to be pursued at all places. It will mean 
that the problems and issues which are paramount in 
each local situation will be made the basis of investiga- 
tion and study. The curriculum of religious education 
in the local groups will be the experiences therein reg- 
nant under guidance as they are made to yield their 
meanings, appreciations, and values for life, and as they 
become programized into procedures of living. In the 
process of guidance, citation will be made to source ma- 
terials, including books, pamphlets, articles, the ex- 
periences of living persons, and especially the Bible. But 
these source materials will be sought out by the learn- 
ers in their desire to understand the problems and is- 
sues of their experience, and not assigned to them by 
the teacher or leader in charge of the group. There will 
be greater need for books under this new creative ap- 
proach than under the former transmissive method. 
The new approach will make education a quest and not 
a task. It will put a new spirit in the process, endowing 
it with freedom and respecting the personality of each 
group member. What an opportunity for serving man 
opens up to the church in this phase of its religious 
educational program !" 

When the address was concluded, it was moved and 



THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 109 



carried unanimously that First Church recommend to 
the Committee of Religious Education (the Official 
Board) that the five point program of worship, fellow- 
ship, counseling, activities, and teaching be adopted. 
The meeting then stood adjourned. 

For many days to come, however, this program was 
discussed around the tables in the homes of First 
Church and in the offices of the men who made up its 
membership — always with approval. 



CHAPTER IX 



A Teachers 1 Meeting Comes to Life 



Dr. SCHMIDT ANNOUNCED that after the 
church supper on Wednesday night the teachers of the 
Church School would meet; he felt that friends of the 
teachers — and that meant everybody — would be wel- 
comed. Dr. Sherron would be in charge, and would 
have some things to say about leadership education 
which everyone should hear. 

Accordingly, a large crowd besides the sixty-nine of- 
ficers and teachers was present. Dr. Sherron requested 
that the officers and teachers be prepared to outline 
questions for consideration at the conclusion of his ad- 
dress. 

"What do you mean by leadership education?" he 
asked. "We now speak of leadership education," he de- 
clared, "whereas till recently we called the same thing 
leadership training, and for approximately a half a cen- 
tury, following John E. Vincent, we spoke of teacher 
training. One of these days we shall discount all such 
nomenclature. Leadership education began in conven- 
tions, passed over into institutes, became institutional- 
ized in Chautauqua, and was later standardized in de- 
nominational and interdenominational procedures. 
Now the tendency is to localize and democratize the 
process, making it the center of the actual problems of 
experience. In addition, leadership education is widened 
in concept to include all the workers of the church local- 
ly, from janitors and ushers to general superintendents. 



110 



THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 111 



However, in the courses so far approved by the Interna- 
tional Council, the teacher or group leader is particular- 
ly in mind. We need to keep in mind the distinction 
between leadership education and leadership training. 
Only free persons can be educated, but even animals can 
be trained. 

"During all these changes there has been underlying 
the equipping of leaders an implicit philosophy — that 
education and training are the same, that preparation 
should take place in advance of need, that truth is some- 
thing to be accepted and applied to life. Therefore, we 
must especially keep this distinction clear and unmis- 
takable. 

"So long as education was regarded as something 
done to the learner, this philosophy identifying educa- 
tion and training met the demands of the situation. But 
now that education is conceived as something the learn- 
er (growing person) does to himself, under the sympa- 
thetic guidance of the leader in the group, a different 
philosophy of leadership education is emerging. Ac- 
cording to this emerging philosophy, leadership educa- 
tion best takes place in local problematic situations in 
which theory and practice are wedded. This is the con- 
cept arrived at during the summer of 1935 by a group 
of serious-minded summer school students in a modern 
university, who had made a careful comparison of the 
Standard Leadership Training Course' with the 'New 
Program of Christian Leadership Education* of the 
International Council. These students thought of edu- 
cation as a quest, not as a task; of the learner as central 
in the teaching-learning process; of truth as something 
to be discovered and used, not as something to be ac- 
cepted and applied to life; of the curriculum as a com- 
posite of materials, methods, and organization. Mater- 
ials they regarded as the on-going experiences of the 
group, methods as any practical procedure whereby 
problems might be understood and programized, and 
organization as local processes for facilitating learning. 
This discussion, it will be seen, owes much to them and 
to their viewpoint. Theory could not be successfully 



112 THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 



separated from practice for them — the best theory 
(methodology) arising out of the actual solution of real 
problems. So long as education had to do with master- 
ing facts, leadership education was a simple matter. 
But now that it is experience-centered, and designed to 
be creative, a far more serious situation faces the work- 
er in that field. 

"This group rejoiced in the idea of the International 
Council that 'Leadership Training' should be indige- 
nous 'in the final determination of the elements to be in- 
cluded in the curriculum/ 'in its leadership/ and 'in 
its administration/ They denied that any 'central cur- 
riculum-building agency' could function effectively in 
the local situation, and held that except for the leader 
no general agency should fix objectives. They wel- 
comed the preparation and publication of guides to be 
used as source materials, but 'not for course units and 
other leadership training activities.' They felt that 
'central agencies' should serve as places of record for 
persons accredited in local situations on the basis of 
'ideals and standards' previously agreed upon, but that 
they should not attempt long-distance supervision 
through mechanical means. No teacher worth his salt 
in the experience-centered approach can foretell what 
problems will face any teacher-in-preparation or other 
worker in any local situation. The statement from such 
a teacher of teachers or workers should therefore be 
recorded, thought these earnest students, and the pro- 
cess should not be supervised in detail by some central 
agency, denominational or interdenominational. 

" The central agencies have great faith in the efficacy 
of leadership courses. So do the teachers colleges in 
their procedures. Both of these agencies will get a jolt 
from a careful study of 'College and University Teach- 
ing' made by a Committee of the American Association 
of University Professors and published in 1933. See 
this Report of the Association's Committee on College 
and University Teaching made in 1933. I quote from 



THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 113 



page 23 of this report as follows: 'The Committee is 
not prepared to recommend any requirement of courses 
in education as a qualification in college teaching/ Let 
professionals in the work of christian leadership edu- 
cation ponder this statement. College and university 
professors stand at the head of our teaching profession, 
and in respect to the value of technical education cours- 
es for these teachers there is 'a wide divergence of opin- 
ion between teachers of academic subjects on the one 
hand and teachers of education on the other,' continues 
the report. 

"Two practical recommendations, however, are made 
by the Committee: '(a) That the academic departments 
give consideration, in whatever way they think best, to 
methods of teaching and to teaching under supervision, 
(b) That they sanction a seminar on problems of 
American education — this seminar to be optional for 
students who are preparing to become college teachers.' 

"These recommendations seem to indicate a desire on 
the part of college and university professors for local 
autonomy in the preparation for the teaching profes- 
sion. This is the tendency too in Christian leadership 
education. For example, note the method of administer- 
ing the recently prepared 'Training Course' of the Sun- 
day School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. 
In this 'Course,' liberty, which has always characterized 
the Baptists, is safeguarded as far as may be in a train- 
ing course. Each book consists of nine chapters. It is 
supposed that a training school or institute will occupy 
five days of two hours each, leaving the tenth hour for 
examination or paper writing. An examination is not 
required. The individual may pursue the course alone, 
answering the questions at the end of each chapter, or 
outlining the chapter in his own words. Presumably he 
could demand an examination and get it. There is no 
accreditment of instructors, which is made so much of 
in some quarters. The conception is that of a group of 
self-governing learners, competent to determine its 
procedures and to select its leader from its membership. 
Reports are, of course, made to the Educational Depart- 



114 THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 



ment of the Southern Baptist Sunday School Board, 
which stands ready to offer suggestions when asked. It 
is not, however, an overlord and has no semblance of 
dictatorship to the elect. 



"How, then, will leadership education take place, if 
it is to be measurably divorced from central agency su- 
pervision? 

"There are two fruitful sources in any local situation 
that promise excellent results in such education. 

"First, there is the local interest group. No matter 
what problem any local group may be considering as of 
vital interest to it — be it war, petting, the origin of the 
Bible, the attitude we should take toward alcohol, the 
beliefs a modern Christian may accept, the attitude of 
the Christian toward property, the evaluation of Com- 
munism, the best approach toward missionary enter- 
prise of the church, the best way to discharge our duties 
as ushers or as financial secretary or as superintendent 
of the local group — there is inherently involved splendid 
opportunity for real leadership education in respect to 
materials, methods, and organization. These three es- 
sential ingredients of an inclusive curriculum will be 
learned as by-products of the process of problem-solv- 
ing and of the practical programizing that must crown 
all truly creative teaching-learning before the pro- 
cedure is complete. The best teachers in every age 
have been produced in just such local interest situa- 
tions. 

"Secondly, there is the use of apprenticeship. Our pre- 
dilection for mass education caused us to break with 
this procedure. But for long ages lawyers, doctors, 
architects, business entrepreneurs, ministers, and other 
types of professional workers were produced by this 
method. In a religiously educative situation, let us say, 
we have a good staff of teachers or of ushers. Assistants, 
under-studies, apprentices are attached to these teach- 
ers or ushers. At first there is only observation. Grad- 
ually actual teaching or ushering is undertaken. At all 



THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 115 



times through conferences, motivated readings, and 
discussion procedures, problems that arise locally are 
handled, verbally decided, and actively tested in ex- 
perience. This is apprenticeship leadership education, 
sometimes preferably called 'leadership education on 
the job/ 

"The advantages of leadership education on the job 
are: 

1. It eliminates the sharp division between theory 
and practice. 

2. Local interest is paramount. (Problematic situa- 
tions constitute the curriculum.) 

3. The leader and the group grow together as a 
unity. 

4. It makes professional education a matter of 
growth, of continuous growth. (That is why 
'leadership education on the job' is to be preferred 
to apprenticeship leadership education, because 
real education never ceases. The expert teacher 
and the learner both continuously learn through 
this process.) 

5. It increases the dignity of experience. 

6. It leads to the discovery and understanding of 
personal needs. 

7. It develops an understanding of the needs of the 
group and of the service to be rendered. 

8. It develops a critical attitude. 

9. It keeps professional curiosity alive. 

10. It helps develop a philosophy of creative educa- 
tion. 

"Candor forces the inclusion of certain objections 
to this procedure. Athearn in his The Minister and 
the Teacher (Scribner's, 1932), lists fourteen objec- 
tions to project-teaching, which this really is, while 
Home in This New Education (Macmillan, 1931), 
gives twenty-five objections to what may be called pro- 
gressive procedures in education. However, all these 
objections are essentially included in the following: 

1. It leaves dark spots in the professional life. 



116 THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 



2. It does not provide amply for reflective and im- 
aginative thought. 

3. It narrows the range of education by limiting it to 
problems arising in the field of personal or local 
group living. 

4. It discourages weak and timid people — and we 
may add, it ought to. 

5. It tends to over-formalization. 

6. It is weak in its standards of measurement and ac- 
creditation. (This is admitted and is as it ought to 
be.) 

"But suppose the teacher-in-preparation or other 
worker wants credit for the work being done? We 
must recognize the powerful appeal of a diploma or 
other form of accreditation for most persons. At the 
same time there is need for a fellowship of prepared and 
experienced leaders and workers in religious education 
— a badge that will be accepted outside the local group. 
Here is the field of the 'central agency.' In response to 
this query, two answers may be made. 

"First, the central agency may accredit the instruc- 
tor or leader in the local situation and accept his state- 
ment as final, without trying to go behind the returns. 
This will democratize and localize religious leadership 
education and make possible the utilization of 'local in- 
terest groups' and 'education on the job' as vital pro- 
cedures in such education, which they certainly are. 
Experience will thus become the basis of leadership 
education. 

"Secondly, the central agency may institute corre- 
spondence courses, in which persons in local situations 
may be guided in the solution of the problems that arise 
in the realm of their actual experience. The Interna- 
tional Council once proposed to do this, but mistakenly 
provided that certain courses should be taken by this 
method. We are pleading for something different — for 
the actual handling of experiential problems as they 
locally arise, the expert at the central office giving all 
the counsel he or she can in aiding in the solving of the 



THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 117 



problem and in programizing the solution the teacher- 
in-preparation or other worker with such assistance 
may have arrived at. 

"A further word should be said with reference to 
leadership education courses to be pursued in schools 
specifically set up for that purpose. Of what value are 
such courses ? It will depend upon the procedure and the 
leader. Manifestly the mastering of a text-book is ta- 
boo. Not one book, but many should be source mater- 
ials for such a course, but the group may properly select 
some one book to be read outside the group as basic for 
purposes of accreditment and for discussional use as the 
course proceeds. The bane of most discussion is that it 
is based on prejudice and ignorance rather than on in- 
telligence and understanding. The wise utilization of 
basic and other source materials will avoid this pitfall 
and provide for intelligent approaches to the problems 
under consideration. The actual problems handled in 
the course should, however, arise out of the group ex- 
perience. If the course has to be accredited in detail, the 
central agency should accredit it after the session is 
held and not before. This procedure — already recog- 
nized by the International Council — may satisfy the ac- 
creditors, but it will hardly serve to motivate the local 
group for undertaking such a leadership course. It may 
prove a noteworthy step in the process of making lead- 
ership education in churches more nearly experience- 
centered, localized, democratically controlled and crea- 
tive. These desiderata need to be implemented and ef- 
fectualized. 

"Leadership education will never come into its own, 
let me say in conclusion, until it becomes genuinely 
creative by being centered in the on-going experience 
of the group engaged in the process." 

At the conclusion of the address, one of the thought- 
ful teachers inquired if it would not be better to hold 
meetings for teachers by departments rather than to 
have all departments meet together. 

"You are right," replied Dr. Sherron. The group 



118 THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 



thereupon voted to endorse what Dr. Sherron had said 
and to meet as departments to discuss problems that 
might have arisen in the process of their work, unless 
Dr. Sherron might prefer meetings of the entire group 
of workers to treat problems which all of them were 
having. 

"However," said Dr. Sherron, "the best leadership 
education will take place on the job. Don't forget that." 

"How should leaders be selected?" was the question 
that was proposed for this meeting and to its consider- 
ation the group now adjusted itself. It was agreed that 
no wholesale dismissal of leaders should take place but 
that in the future each group above the Juniors should 
select its own leaders and that even Juniors and younger 
ones should be encouraged to give their suggestions for 
leaders. 

"Won't mistakes be made?" someone asked. It was 
agreed that mistakes would certainly be made but that 
the group affected would make the mistakes and would 
have to suffer on account of its errors. 

"Won't leaders have to be trained?" was the next 
question. "Perhaps so," was the reply, "but natural 
born leaders will learn on the job locally what proced- 
ures they must undertake." It was further added that 
"the education of leaders is hardly democratic in a free 
church situation." 

The group then adjourned to meet at the call of Dr. 
Sherron. The department leaders agreed to present 
their problems informally to him. 

"What will become of all the fine opportunities we 
have set up for leadership education?" asked many per- 
sons as they thoughtfully went to their homes follow- 
ing the meeting. 

"We will solve our problems in our own group," said 
Emily Terhune; and then she thoughtfully added just 
as they were entering her home after the long walk from 
the teachers' meeting, "We are already doing this with 
youth, for we have really come to life in our Depart- 
ment." 



CHAPTER X 

Dr. Schmidt Introduces 
an Innovation 



On THE LAST SUNDAY of November, Dr. 
Schmidt startled his congregation by announcing that 
he would make some of his sermons creative — not all 
of them, but some of them— by giving the congregation 
the opportunity to suggest his topics and later to dis- 
cuss them and build programs of action consistent with 
them. Such voluntary limitation on the part of the 
minister, he contended, is permissible in any kind of 
church government and particularly in that of the 
church to which he belonged. 

He admitted that no man had more jealously re- 
garded the freedom of the pulpit than had he. "I am not 
surrendering that priceless right, 5 ' he insisted, "but I 
am sharing it voluntarily with you, as I have a perfect 
right to do. In order to be free in the true sense," he 
insisted, "we may share our freedom with our group 
and so become freer than otherwise. That is why most 
preaching is beside the mark, does not register, is fool- 
ishness," he said. "The average man does not wish to 
swallow what another man says. He wants to chew it, 
to digest it, and to assimilate it. I plan to preach only a 
few sermons of the creative type," he continued, "be- 
cause it is hard to change the habits of a lifetime over- 
night, and because there are certain truths that are pe- 
culiar to Christianity and which must be proclaimed, 



119 



120 THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 



not meditated. I cannot force anyone to accept them, 
but I can say that these truths should be accepted and 
this I plan to do. But there are other interpretative 
truths on which there may be much difference of opin- 
ion and of practice. You must feel free to call in ques- 
tion any proposal I may make in regard to such matters 
or issues. You must feel free to suggest the topics you 
would ask to have presented, and then you must feel 
free to erect programs of living, personal and social, 
consistent with the conclusions at which you may have 
arrived. Certain forms of religion guarantee comfort. 
Certain others demand action and leave the soul rest- 
less until it rests in God's love. It is this latter type of 
sermonizing that can be truly creative. 

"My text this morning is a phrase, 'the foolishness of 
preaching' (7 Corinthians 1:28). I invite you to listen 
carefully to what I am to say and to come to the church 
supper Wednesday prepared to suggest topics for crea- 
tive discussion and to do such other things as may ap- 
pear to you necessary and wise. 

" 'The foolishness of preaching' — most of it has been 
just that, and I think that is what is wrong with the 
modern church. Dr. Sherron, in listing the elements of 
creative worship, indicated that he would later speak of 
the sermon as part of that concept. I shall relieve him of 
that necessity and endeavor to present the sermon as 
creative. 

"There was a time when the minister, as the best edu- 
cated man in the community, using what we may style 
the transmissive approach, the indoctrinating, authori- 
tative method, acquainted his mentally hungry parish- 
ioners with the trends and movements of the contempo- 
rary world. It is a commonplace observation today that 
education has been so generally diffused and profess- 
sional preparation has come to be of so high an order, 
that the minister cannot longer speak the words of wis- 
dom respecting all the issues of life. He is become a spe- 
cialist among specialists. A new type of preaching is 
therefore requisite. And yet lecturing is a most popular 
form of teaching. Lecturing is best described as educa- 



THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 121 



tional preaching. Lecturing is peculiarly popular with 
professors in college classes, despite the cynical de- 
scription of it ascribed to the college student who said it 
is a device whereby information passes from the note- 
book of the professor to the notebook of the student 
without passing through the mind of either. 

"We may truly say that ours is a day of testing for 
the church and particularly for the pulpit. Protestants 
are turning toward realistic worship. Roman Catholics 
to some extent and the Greek Orthodox to a greater 
extent are turning toward the sermon. Methods long 
practiced are losing their validity. Can preaching be 
saved ? 

"Back of this query lies a more searching one — Is 
preaching worth saving? As far back as May 20, 1920, 
John Spargo wrote in the Christian Century — 'It is 
very doubtful to my mind, whether all the preaching 
done in America during the next twelve months, let us 
say, will add as much to the well-being of America as 
the work of one honest efficient farmer, or as that of a 
humble teacher in some little red schoolhouse/ Mean- 
while our farmers have become too efficient at the pro- 
duction end and our school teachers too numerous, 
while preaching continues to go on its unchanging 
way. 

"But it is one thing to preach sermons or to hear 
them, and another to find them efficient. There are 
those who go to church to escape reality. Not a little of 
our present emphasis on worship, we fear, finds its 
origin at this point. So long as the 'atmosphere' is con- 
ducive to restfulness and ministers to the aesthetic 
sense, a certain type of big business man or society 
leader will pay respect to the church. Note the popu- 
larity of the Oxford Group Movement. But such re- 
ligion is an opiate — so say the starving critics of insti- 
tutionalized religion. 

"But worship should not be thus palliative. It should 
set people on fire to serve, certainly much of it should. 
It should be truly creative, in other words. It is true that 
it should result in a sense of harmony, both inwardly 



122 THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 

and outwardly, but really not outwardly until after the 
worshiper has faced reality as it is, realistically. Wor- 
ship begins in a sense of personal insufficiency, we may 
say, passes over into a conviction that there are divine 
resources available which are amply sufficient, and 
reaches out for those resources. Thence comes that 
sense of harmony, of calm, of peace within, the response 
of a good conscience to the commitment of the person 
to a great cause. But meanwhile, if worship is truly 
creative, the worshiper has had brought home to him a 
realization of his personal needs, an insight into the 
needs of others, and an understanding of God's pur- 
poses for the problems and issues of life. This procedure 
is the very opposite of using worship to side-step real- 
ity. It is thus truly creative. It faces all the facts and 
forces involved in a situation. It brings that sense of 
harmony, of calm, of peace which the true worshiper 
craves, first inwardly, and then outwardly, but it brings 
it only after a storm. It does something more. It ener- 
gizes the worshiper for personal and social living. Hav- 
ing worshiped, he is calm within, but restless without 
till the will of God is accomplished in the social order. 
It produces not a Roman peace — the equivalent of deso- 
lation—but the peace of God which is said to pass all 
understanding. 



"One important element in such a worship experi- 
ence is the sermon. If preaching is to be saved, as a 
constructive spiritual force, it must become creative. It 
is now, generically speaking, very largely transmissive. 
The congregation is expected to take what is offered 
and to sit like oysters throughout the ordeal, if the 
preacher be a poor one, or the rewarding event if he be 
a good one. In either case the congregation is not sup- 
posed to have any part in making the situation creative 
or to do anything about it after the event. Worshipers 
are not energized to undertake a program, because 
there is no program. Tf I had one hundred real men I 
could clean up this city/ declared one of America's 



THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 123 



great pulpiteers. The next day the requisite number of 
men appeared. 'But I had not expected you brethren 
and I have no program/ he confessed in confusion. 

"The day is at hand when a telling preacher will not 
be a telling preacher. Transmissive approaches are dis- 
credited in the class room and the day of their doom is 
sounded for the pulpit. The mind of the worshiper is the 
active agent in the preaching situation when it be- 
comes creative, and creative it must become if it is to be 
saved. Prof. George A. Coe says that creative preaching 
must take an objective attitude toward fact; exhibit a 
spiritually sensitive historical consciousness; include an 
understanding of the human types and moral issues 
and forces of our day ; have a constant outlook on public 
questions; be so spiritually realistic that it will result in 
a new alignment of human forces ; cease to be apologetic 
for ecclesiasticism and open up for the people all the 
religious issues now surging for solution. The first re- 
quirement for the creative preacher, concludes Profes- 
sor Coe, is that 'he takes his place as a learner within a 
group of learners.' 



"A very intelligent group with a generous sprinkling 
of university and seminary professors in a recent dis- 
cussion of the sermon concluded that to be saved, it 
must become educational, creatively educational, and 
that this involved the requirements that it should arise 
out of a vital life problem; that it should face all the 
facts of every situation; that it should regard truth as 
a progressive discovery of the meanings, appreciations, 
and values of experience, personal and racial; that it 
should conceive of civilization as the interaction of per- 
sons rather than as a mechanization process; that it 
should make available an abundance of source mate- 
rials for the use of the minister and congregation ; that it 
should be a cooperative effort to build the democracy of 
God through reflective thinking, ethical sensitivity, and 
voluntary endeavor; and that all should be integrated 
in terms of personality promoted on a universal basis. 



124 THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 



"Manifestly in such a situation there will be no ease 
in Zion. The minister meeting such requirements will 
be a learner among a group of learners, and the congre- 
gation will become springs of living water, not sponges 
to absorb such water. But is such idealism feasible? Can 
this procedure be methodized and practicalized? 

"Not if the preacher is to be the sole person to select 
his themes. Occasionally by this method a minister may 
by using a seasonal or timely subject jog his congrega- 
tion into reflective thinking, but even then ethical sen- 
sitivity and voluntary endeavor do not necessarily en- 
sue. It will be the old transmissive approach masquer- 
ading under a new form. To be creative, preaching must 
become a cooperative enterprise, participated in by 
both minister and people. 

"A particular group worked out a tentative method- 
ology, realizing that the creative approach cannot be 
standardized or stereotyped. And they concluded first 
that the vital problems involved in the local situation 
must be discovered by objective methods. Unsigned re- 
quests to have certain topics presented, subjects of con- 
versation during pastoral and diaconal visitation, the 
seasonal and timely public problems presented in the 
press — all these held some promise but were not consid- 
ered ample. Nothing less than a skillfully constructed 
instrument to secure objective opinions and attitudes on 
certain vital issues of the social milieu was considered 
to be fully adequate to unearth the real problems that 
the congregation should creatively consider. 

"It was further suggested that the congregation 
should choose a committee to cooperate with the pastor 
in canvassing the results of this objective procedure and 
to lay the results of the discoveries before the congre- 
gation by areas of experience and units of investiga- 
tion under each such area, for emendation, for discus- 
sion, and for the adoption of a program of procedure. 
When the area of experience and its particular units 
should have been decided upon, this committee would 
then make available abundant source materials. The 
library must come back [See Chapter VII above] but 



THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 125 



on a different basis, if preaching is to be creative. The 
minister would present one or more discourses on each 
unit, at say, the morning session. At the next evening 
session and perhaps also at the mid-week service, the 
minister's statement would be the subject of a forum 
discussion. Several discussion hours might be con- 
sumed in elucidating any particular unit of investiga- 
tion — you cannot schedule creative procedures — and 
there is no reason why an eleven o'clock Sunday morn- 
ing service may not be given over to such a forum dis- 
cussion occasionally, though not regularly. It is con- 
ceivable too that a truly aroused congregation might at 
times meet each week-night to forge their thinking into 
specific programs of action while the issues are aflame. 
The minister too might with the consent of his steering 
committee invite some member of the congregation or 
some expert resource man or woman from the outside 
to present a theme, if he felt it could be thus more ade- 
quately presented. The emphasis all along is to be on 
the adventurous discovery of truth in a cooperative en- 
terprise. At the conclusion of the consideration of the 
units of the area, a findings committee would bring in 
a report for discussion, emendation, and adoption. But 
the crowning act in the whole drama would be the re- 
port of the program committee outlining specific expe- 
riments in personal and social living to be undertaken 
in the light of the creative consideration of the problem. 
Here again discussion, emendation, approval, and vol- 
untary choice of endeavor would be the approved pro- 
cedure. Then the group would take up another area of 
experience with its congruent units. 

"Such is the price of creative preaching. But who is 
sufficient — minister and congregation — for these 
things? It would appear, however, that preaching, if it 
is not to be altogether foolishness, if in other words it 
is to be saved, must become truly creative. Some min- 
isters will find it difficult to do the things suggested in 
this discussion, because they regard themselves as the 
spokesmen of God and will not deign to subject their 
utterances to control or discussion by the congrega- 



126 THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 



tion. There will be some great prophets such as Kag- 
awa, Schweitzer, Grenfel, Stanley Jones, George W. 
Truitt, the late S. Parkes Cadman and their like in 
every generation. They will speak and take the conse- 
quences. We need more of their kind. But it is equally 
true that most men, lacking the prophetic insight, will 
do well to heed the suggestions set forth in this discus- 
sion. There is small hope of making their messages edu- 
cational and creative on the present basis of transmis- 
sive preaching. 



"In 1933 an informal adult discussion group was 
sponsored by a university church in a Southern city. 
Rather the group was sponsored by the men's club and 
the women's club of the church jointly. There was no 
enrolled membership, no set of officers, no fixed cur- 
riculum, no stated offering. Everything was in a state 
of flux. It was genuine opportunism. Out of such a sit- 
uation came the method suggested above for making 
preaching educationally creative. 

"At the initial session some twenty persons were 
present and informally discussed various problems in 
which they were interested. At the conclusion, a com- 
mittee of three persons was elected to canvass all the 
suggestions and to recommend an area of interest for 
discussion. It was agreed that the group itself would 
finally determine. 

"The theme for discussion later adopted after thor- 
ough discussion was — 'The Church a School of Chris- 
tian Living.' It was thought that three or four sessions 
for discussion would be ample. However, each one of 
the group agreed to read a book each week on the theme 
to be selected under the general topic and the leader 
agreed to secure books to be lent. The group averaged 
about twenty-five persons, about equally divided be- 
tween men and women. At times experts of the com- 
munity were invited in as resource persons. 

"Among the themes discussed as the study advanced 
were The Nature of the Church, The Function of the 



THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 127 



Church, What is a School? What does Christian Mean? 
How Shall We think of Education? What Place in a 
Creative Church Will Teaching Have? Worship? 
The Sermon? The Budget? Organization? The Li- 
brary? etc. The group was still going strong on the 
same theme at Easter of the next year, having begun 
the previous September. There was no disposition to 
hurry along or to do a definite amount of work by a cer- 
tain time. The group was out to understand what was 
involved in making their church a center of Christian 
living and they meant to achieve their goal if possible. 

"At the end of the discussion, two committees were 
elected — A Findings Committee and A Program Com- 
mittee. The Findings Committee summarized the group 
thinking on the several topics that had been discussed. 
The Program Committee urged that the Church School 
should use the ongoing experiences of its seven age- 
level groups as the basis of the several curricula ; that a 
single budget be adopted and supported by the church ; 
that the minister should be also director of religious ed- 
ucation and endeavor to make his sermons creatively 
educational; and that a Community Forum should be 
set up for the city, under the sponsorship of a commit- 
tee to be elected by the church, its aim to be to deal 
fully with any problem, theme, or issue that might arise 
in the social experience. 

"It will, therefore, be seen that this decision to make 
the sermon creative and educational grew out of a nat- 
ural setting and that it was not meant as a criticism of 
the minister. In fact, the minister was himself a member 
of the group and heartily approved the procedure sug- 
gested. Unwillingness on the part of a complacent 
membership to take the preaching service seriously and 
the resignation of the minister soon after, militated 
against the complete working out of the plan. The 
Community Forum suggestion and the shift in the cur- 
riculum of the Church School were approved and have 
succeeded even beyond expectation. 

"It is the practice of not a few ministers to have ques- 
tion periods following their sermons on Sunday morn- 



128 THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 



ings. Ordinarily such ministers serve churches with 
floating congregations and find their service in the 
clarification of thinking. Dr. John Haynes Holmes in 
the Community Church of New York City has used this 
technique with fine effect. For the established church 
serving a more or less stable group, it would seem best 
to have the discussion not immediately following the 
delivery of the sermon, but later, say on Sunday evening 
or Wednesday at the mid-week service. The sermon 
should be allowed the right to leave its impressions, but 
a program of action should be adopted by the group or 
should be individually decided upon after full discus- 
sion, in order for the sermon to become effective in the 
lives of individuals and in the program of the group. It 
was a real tribute to the earnestness of the Southern 
church above referred to that two permanent changes 
of fine significance grew out of its discussion of a single 
theme. 

"The president of a Christian college was accustomed 
to give an opening message on the first Sunday morning 
of the college year. He took the occasion seriously and 
endeavored to present a theme that bristled with inter- 
est because of its timeliness or because it treated con- 
troversial matters. Gradually the custom grew up of 
making his opening address the topic of discussion by 
the students at the Sunday evening religious gathering 
of young people. Out of these discussions came not only 
clarified thinking on vital religious issues, but programs 
of action in the realm of Christian conduct, personal and 
community-centered. 

"It will mean hard work for the church that under- 
takes to cooperate in the effort to make the preaching 
service creatively educational, but it will be particularly 
hard work for the minister who undertakes to serve 
such a group. He will become a learner in a group of 
learners, but the rewards of such service should be cor- 
respondingly great. It is doubtful if minister or people 
could make the whole approach creative. It might prove 
too exacting. 



THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 129 



"Reference has been made to the necessity of creat- 
ing an instrument for revealing the 'hot spots' of in- 
terest for such an educational ministry. A very prac- 
tical way, and perhaps the one that will prove most ac- 
ceptable, will be to have the group, after informal dis- 
cussion, list the problems which appear to them of 
greatest importance. The minister could add to these 
such others as he has realized in the course of his pas- 
toral ministrations, and the current literature and prob- 
lems paramount in the Great Society will suggest still 
others. With these as a nucleus, a beginning can be 
made, and the construction of an instrument for bring- 
ing out the hidden problems can come later in the pro- 
cess. If it is felt that such an instrument should be used 
in the very beginning, perhaps there is no ampler 
simple problem-finder better adapted to the purpose 
than Professor Thurstone's The Measurement of At- 
titude (1929) written in collaboration with Professor 
Chave and published by the University of Chicago 
Press. There are several of these tests so far issued by 
the University of Chicago Press and many others are 
in preparation. We have in mind that dealing particu- 
larly with the 'Attitude toward the Church.' " 

When Dr. Schmidt had concluded his discourse, the 
congregation stood in little groups discussing the in- 
novation he had proposed. They agreed, though, that 
they would come on Wednesday evening prepared to 
suggest topics for discussion by the minister and the 
congregation. Such a revolutionary procedure really 
stunned the congregation, but they were used to being 
stunned in recent months. They began to realize that 
First Church was requiring hard work on the part of 
its membership. Heretofore they had been accustomed 
to having the preacher do it all while they slept through 
the discourse he had prepared or felt complacent at hav- 
ing such a high grade hired man functioning for them 
in the field of religion. There was some opposition to 
Dr. Schmidt's proposition on the part of those who de- 
sired comfort as the consequence of religious profes- 
sion, but for the most part the new program meant new 



130 THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 



opportunity and was accepted as such and was heartily 
approved by the majority of the membership. They 
confessed they did not know where they were going, 
but they were evidently happily on their way. They re- 
solved to continue in this pathway, lead where it may. 



CHAPTER XI 



A Workers 7 Council Considers Methods 



On THE SECOND WEDNESDAY night in De- 
cember of the second year of Dr. Sherron's leadership 
in creative education in First Church, there was to be 
held a Workers' Council and Dr. Sherron was scheduled 
to speak on methods. Many besides members were 
present. The meeting was held because Dr. Sherron 
had agreed to speak on this theme and because it poses 
a universal problem. 

Dr. Schmidt presided as usual and introduced Dr. 
Sherron. In his speech of introduction he briefly traced 
the history of Dr. Sherron's acceptance of this new re- 
sponsibility and told of his personal satisfaction in hav- 
ing secured that acceptance. Almost before Dr. Schmidt 
had concluded his remarks, Dr. Martin was on his feet 
desiring to be recognized. He expressed his delight in 
Dr. Sherron's attitude of "humility" and rejoiced that 
creative education was working. "It works in the 
church and I am beginning to think it will work in the 
academic situation where I have begun to try it, par- 
ticularly in the Department of Science," he said. 

Then Dr. Sherron began by saying that he had pre- 
viously stated his conviction that the modern curricu- 
lum of religious education should consist of materials, 
methods, and organization. He said he had already dis- 
cussed materials, particularly the Bible, and organiza- 
tion and that he had promised to discuss methods later. 
Since this appeared to be a real problem for most of the 
workers he said he was glad to say something on this 
theme at this time. 



131 



132 THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 



"We must make our concept larger than that advo- 
cated by Professor Betts, who conceives of the curricu- 
lum of religious creation as limited to the school. In 
our concept it includes the whole of formal education 
found in the school, and also all of informal education, 
sometimes called conditioning, found in the normal 
processes of living both within and without the school. 
We even think of informal education as more effective 
in character building than formal education. We find 
ourselves in hearty agreement with Frederick M. 
Thrasher in The Gang, to which reference has already 
been made. Our view is not that we should junk the 
school, but that we should make it approximate life in 
its freedom, initiative, and responsibility. At this point 
you are urged to re-think the contrasts already given 
between the transmissive and creative approaches to 
education, and also the discussion of program and cur- 
riculum previously outlined. All along we have 
'methodized' our approach. Except for purposes of in- 
tellectual contemplation, we should not separately con- 
sider materials, methods, and organization, for expe- 
rience is a unity. 

"Therefore, we have insisted that method is the 
bringing about of conditions under which experience 
may be enriched, modified, controlled, understood, and 
redirected in terms of responsible participation and 
freedom of choice. We have made it plain that we have 
no sympathy with a person who poses as a martyr, who 
seeks sympathy for espousing views contrary to the ac- 
cepted regime of living. The person involved in the pro- 
cess of living must count the cost of his choice and must 
take it standing up and smiling. To whine or to whim- 
per or otherwise to pose is unworthy the true man. 

"Recurring now to our conception of method, we see 
that any method may be valuable in the creative ap- 
proach, but our view is that the group should be free to 
suggest the method to be employed, that the teacher is 
not the person to decide what method should be em- 
ployed, but that the teacher should be ready at any 
time to make use of the method desired by the group or 



THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 133 



suggested by it. Even the often times disallowed lec- 
ture method may be valuable under such an approach. 
It is true that seminary students as a whole, as May 
[See the Education of American Ministers, 4 vols., 
Macmillan, 1934] found in his investigation, prefer the 
discussion method to the lecture, but we aver that if 
the group desires or suggests it for a particular prob- 
lem, it will prove to be the most efficacious approach 
possible. This statement is based on personal experi- 
ence, against which there is no argument. 



"We may here give a list of the more commonly em- 
ployed methods used in teaching. This list is not meant 
to be exhaustive, in fact it could not be, because expe- 
rience (life, practice) will no doubt evolve others, which 
the alert teacher and group will readily employ on occa- 
sion. We therefore give the following tentative list of 
such methods as have been and are commonly em- 
ployed: 

1. Project 

2. Story-Telling 

3. Manual Arts Activities 

4. Dramatics 

5. Discussion 

6. Supervised Study 

7. Lecture 

8. Question and Answer (Recitation) 

9. Research and Report 

10. Resource Persons 

11. Survey and Observation 

12. Experience-Centered 

"Any one of these methods and many variations or 
combinations of them may be employed in the creative 
approach. 



"With this in view, we will now undertake to adduce 
the reasons for and against the employment of each 
particular method, and to evaluate it, so to speak. 



134 THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 



"I. The Project Method. We may define the concept 
of project as 'a problematic act carried to completion in 
its natural setting/ or as 'a hearty, purposeful act/ Not 
all sincere educators approve it. Athearn [See Chapter 
IX above], for example, in his The Minister and the 
Teacher (Scribner's, 1932), gives fourteen reasons 
against its employment as follows: 

1. Based on unsound philosophical and psycholog- 
ical assumptions. 

2. Does not make proper use of racial experience. 

3. Does not provide for logical perspective. 

4. Has no technique for the cultivation of person- 
ality. 

5. Does not recognize limitations of immaturity. 

6. Mistakes a part for the whole in the educational 
process. 

7. Its instrumental theory of knowledge is unsound. 

8. It has no adequate place for effort, discipline, or 
duty. 

9. It has no standards for the reconstruction of expe- 
rience. 

10. It is educationally wasteful. 

11. It glorifies interest at the expense of effort. 

12. It has no adequate place for the function of 
ideals. 

13. It is useless as an instrument of religious educa- 
tion. 

14. It uses several concepts of activity, varying from 
the mechanical neural to that of ultimate reality, 
and so is faulty. 

"Some of these criticisms may well give project edu- 
cators pause, particularly two, five, and ten, as also 
H. H. Home's twenty-five arguments against creative 
teaching in his This New Education (Macmillan, 1931). 
[Referred to in Chapter IX above] 

"Arguments for the project method are the follow- 
ing: 

1. Its subject matter and its technique derived from 
life situations. 



THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 135 



2. It is a natural method of learning, so far as the 
growing persons are concerned. 

3. It challenges the natural, innate abilities of grow- 
ing persons. 

4. It develops qualities of leadership in growing per- 
sons. 

"It is readily admitted though that the transmissive- 
minded teacher may turn every one of these four argu- 
ments into reasons against the project method in re- 
ligious education. There must be sincere initiative and 
free control accorded the group if the project method 
is to be really creative. 

"II. The Story-Telling Method. Creatively speaking, 
the story must arise out of the teaching-learning situa- 
tion and not be super-imposed upon it. The rules gov- 
erning its use may be thus given: 

1. Make yourself physically comfortable. 

2. Use a pleasing, well modulated tone of voice. 

3. Use few gestures and make these really spontane- 
ous expressions of the story's spirit. 

4. Capitalize the dramatic element in the story. 

5. Hold up the highest possible ideals. Employ 
nothing shady or dirty. 

6. Do not moralize. If the story does not tell its own 
moral, it is not a good story, and another should 
be chosen. 

7. Make the persons in the group feel the story's 
message. 

8. Make the story grow naturally out of the situa- 
tion. 

9. Use Bible stories when possible, but do not limit 
yourself to them. 

"The arguments for the story-telling method are the 
following: 

1. The story deals with life on the group level. 

2. The story makes truth concrete. 

3. The story carries its own message. 

4. The story makes the individual so at home that 
he desires to re-tell it. 



136 THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 

5. The story gives pleasure and so is psychologically 
sound. 

6. The story serves to broaden concepts and enrich 
experience. 

7. The story is particularly applicable to children, 
but may be most effective with adults. Compare 
the parables of Jesus. 

"The arguments against the story-telling method are: 

1. The teacher may assume too much authority. 

2. The growing person may become a victim in the 
process. 

3. There may not be any connection between the 
story and the problem being elucidated. 

4. The story may become a method of holding at- 
tention. 

5. Biblical stories may teach un-Christian attitudes, 
as David killing Goliath. 

6. The story may limit the growing person's inter- 
ests. 

7. There may be no moral in the story. 

"III. The Manual Activities Method. There is the 
danger that manual activities may degenerate into busy- 
work or 'recidivate' to it. Avoid this and see that noth- 
ing is undertaken that does not naturally and inevitably 
arise out of the particular teaching-learning situation. 

"Busy-work is set by the instructor, serves to keep 
restless persons occupied, and may lead to social serv- 
ice. Compare Evans, Graded Social Service for the Sun- 
day School, published years ago by the University of 
Chicago Press. It is thus essentially transmissive and 
super-imposed, and so under suspicion. 

"Manual activities, however, grow out of the situa- 
tion, keep persons occupied, and always lead to social 
service. Busy-work is therefore specific and teacher- 
controlled. Manual activities, on the other hand, are 
general and pupii-initiated. The former is a species of 
learning. The latter is real education. The former is 
transmissive. The later is creative in tendency at least. 

"The method of the manual arts activities is valuable 
in religious education of the creative type because it il- 



THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 137 



lustrates the thing learned or gives expression to it, 
builds character on a sure basis, leads to the apprecia- 
tion of others, brings about cooperation, and creates the 
idea of beauty. When a week-day religious school 
group, for example, made a model of the Jerusalem 
Temple area as expressive of their good-will for a cer- 
tain group of mountain children, they were using the 
manual arts creatively. The project grew out of their 
interest. 

"However, the transmissive-minded teacher, and 
most of us are just that, may use the manual arts as 
busy-work, as hand-work we euphemistically say, with- 
out reference to its character-building values. It then 
ceases to be creative and becomes a brake on the free 
spirit's right of initiative. 

"IV. The Dramatic Method. All that has so far been 
said relative to the transmissive use of other methods 
applies with peculiar force here. The dramatic method 
is comparatively new in religious education. Our seats 
have been screwed to the floor and dramatics were 
limited to the public presentation of some play. We do 
not condemn this, but what we are pleading for in this 
case is the spontaneous dramatization of the truth ar- 
rived at in the teaching-learning situation, which ap- 
peals especially to children and does not require elab- 
orate stage fixtures or costumes. Make-believe is native 
to the children and the dramatic method has peculiar 
value for them. We must not be satisfied by saying that 
'we learn by doing/ What we have in mind is that we 
should say that 'we learn by doing in a free situation/ 
There must be freedom, initiative, and spontaneity if 
the dramatic approach is to be truly creative. 

"Advantages of the dramatic method are: 

1. It may develop a growing person's personality to 
the highest capacity. 

2. It may train for efficient Christian living in a so- 
cial world. 

3. It may develop the ability and the disposition to 
participate in the life of the church. 

4. It links teaching with real life; 



138 THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 



5. It gives expression to inward impressions. 

6. It is especially valuable for children. 
"Disadvantages of this method are: 

1. It may not be spontaneous, but super-imposed. 

2. It may be impractical because equipment is lack- 
ing. 

3. It may have no necessary connection with the 
problem being solved. 

4. It may be above the heads or below the interests 
of the learners in the group. 

5. It may have no relationship to actual life — the 
life of the day or of the church. 

"V. The Discussion Method. It may be well first of 
all to list the characteristics of the successful leader of a 
discussion group: 

1. He must know the group. 

2. He must know the subject of discussion thor- 
oughly. 

3. He must have poise. 

4. He must be fair to views that differ from his own. 

5. He must have tolerance. 

6. He must have tact. 

7. He must have kindness. 

8. He must be democratic. 

"And if there be any other virtue, he must have it too, 
for he must be a real Christian, if he is to approach his 
problem not merely realistically or factually, but dy- 
namically and creatively. 

"The advantages of the group discussion are: 

1. It should develop the individuals of the group. 

2. It should result in the mastery of much source ma- 
terial. 

3. It should bring out the experiences of the learner 
with respect to the problem under consideration, 
as well as those of other living persons. 

4. It should capitalize interest. 

"The disadvantages of the discussion method are: 

1. It is a time waster. 

2. It may result only in having the persons in the 
group give expression to their prejudices. 



THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 139 



3. It may run the vicious circle and so not solve any- 
thing. 

4. It tends to mass opinion, not to the cultivation of 
individual differences. 

"However, under a real leader, one who knows the 
fields of literature and of personality well and who is 
open-minded and friendly to varying views, the discus- 
sion method promises well for creative teaching. We 
must admit, however, that not every teacher can func- 
tion well with this method. The novice and the doctrin- 
aire had best eschew it. 

"VI. The Supervised Study Method. A great many 
persons do not know how to study. They flounder 
around and waste much time. A generation ago the 
method of supervised study had peculiar vogue in public 
schools, but today it is tending to pass out, especially if 
it is employed in the general study hall. Rollins College 
has developed an approach around this technique, which 
is greatly publicized. Hall Quest, in his book Supervised 
Study defines the accepted idea as 'that plan of school 
procedure whereby each pupil is so adequately in- 
structed and directed in the methods of studying and 
thinking that the daily preparation will progress under 
conditions most favorable to a hygienic, economical, 
and self-reliant career of intellectual endeavor/ And 
perhaps that is why it tends now to pass out, because 
whether we educators realize it or not, growing per- 
sons do not want to be told what to do. They do not 
regard the telling teacher as the telling teacher in other 
words. It is hard for those of us who teach to realize 
this and to recognize that real learning makes its own 
mistakes and profits by them. Learners do not like a 
single text-book nor do they relish the syllabus, though 
of the two evils they prefer the latter. In other words, 
they prefer creative approaches rather than transmis- 
sive ones, though the former would require much more 
of them; certainly they will require much more of the 
teacher. 

"Advantages of the supervised study method: 
1. It economizes time and energy. 



140 THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 



2. It makes things easier for pupil and teacher. 
"Its disadvantages are: 

1. The by-products of a learning situation oftentimes 
outweigh the direct accomplishment. 

2. It denies to the learner the right to initiate his own 
procedures. 

3. It magnifies the art of the supervisor at the ex- 
pense of the learner and even of the actual teachers 
in the groups. 

4. It tends to regiment both pupils and teachers. 
"VII. The Method of Using Resource Persons. In 

every community there are persons who are expert in 
certain lines. It is proper for the group to desire to have 
these persons come before it, to present their views 
either through a logically arranged lecture, or through 
questions asked by the group. In any event there must 
be opportunity provided for questions from the group 
which the resource person is to answer. Ordinarily re- 
source persons sit in a group by invitation of the leader 
or program-builders and take such part as seems to 
them wise or desirable. Manifestly this is not what we 
have in mind at this time. What we desire is to permit 
the group to invite anyone they may wish and only such 
persons as they may wish, and to be privileged to 'quiz' 
them freely. This comes very close to being the forum 
method. It is this method adapted to the teaching- 
learning situation. 

"Advantages of the use of the method of resource 
persons are: 

1. It brings in varied views. 

2. It encourages the learners to think consistently. 

3. It teaches learners to ask questions intelligently. 

4. It discovers local leaders to the group. 

5. It stimulates interest. 

6. It leads to fellowships that may prove very help- 
ful. 

"The disadvantages of the method are: 

1. It may lead to arguing to justify previously held 
views. 

2. It may reveal a too radical or progressive view or a 



THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 141 



too conservative and non-progressive one. 

3. It may reveal 'mind-sets' and so do harm rather 
than good. 

4. It may cause the group members to think too 
highly of themselves. 

5. It may waste the time of the resource persons and 
of the learners. 

"Persons in the average community who may well 
serve as resource persons on occasion are parents, of- 
ficers of the law, officials in the church, ministers, doc- 
tors, lawyers, teachers, returned missionaries, visitors, 
etc. 

"VIII. The Lecture Method. The advantages of this 
method are: 

1. It saves time. 

2. It is more intensive. 

3. It is more precise, orderly, and systematic. 

4. It is more comfortable for both learner and 
teacher. 

5. It covers more ground and covers it logically. 

6. It is more authoritative. 

7. It permits the learner to request the teacher's 
greater knowledge, creatively speaking. 

"The disadvantages of this method are: 

1. Telling is not teaching. 

2. It does not tend to stimulate creative effort. 

3. It does not lend itself to interchange of thought. 

4. It fails to put responsibility for learning on the 
learner. 

5. It fails to lead necessarily to understanding life's 
problem. 

6. It does not regard education as a quest. 

7. It does not require arduous thinking or effort on 
the part of the learner. 

"The lecture has a real place when the group requests 
it; otherwise it is a vehicle of the lazy mind — either of 
the teacher or of the learner or of both. 

"IX. The Recitation Method. This method is so 
nearly universal that all we need to do is to list its ad- 
vantages and disadvantages. We should perhaps say 



142 THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 



that it aims at the mastery of materials, which it re- 
gards as having inherent worth, that it is based on the 
Herbartian method, and that it is essentially trans- 
missive. 

"Its advantages are: 

1. It is satisfying — since it requires no original think- 
ing. 

2. It is specific — since it deals with the text. 

3. It is logical — since it goes at things systematically. 

4. It sets the task for the learner — the mastery of the 
text. 

5. It lends itself readily to norms both for the teacher 
and learner. 

6. It is easy to organize. 

7. It is definite. 

8. It meets all the requirements of indoctrination and 
of degurgitation. 

"Its disadvantages are: 

1. It dispenses with the necessity for original think- 
ing. 

2. It limits learning to a definite set of facts. 

3. It prevents intellectual growth both of teacher 
and learner. 

4. It retards progress of the institution whose teach- 
ers employ it exclusively. 

5. It makes education stereotyped, not original. 

6. It results in opinions, not in understanding life's 
issues. 

7. It over-emphasizes tool subjects. 

8. It tends to make 'understanding' subjects into tool 
subjects. 

"X. The Research and Report Method. This method is 
now employed frequently in institutions of higher learn- 
ing. Librarians in such institutions tend to encourage 
scholarship by turning learners loose to gather their 
knowledge from books in general rather than from a 
reserve shelf. Where there is a reserve shelf, the group 
itself makes it as a protection against selfish persons 
and not to provide an intellectual diet on a limited scale. 
The creative teacher is quite content that this should 



THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 143 

be so, and refrains even for the most part from suggest- 
ing basic texts as covering the content of the course he 
is offering. If it is a truly creative course, there will 
hardly be a basic text anyway. There may, however, be 
several such texts, but the learners would do well to 
find them out for themselves rather than to be told 
which they are. 

"The advantages of this method are: 

1. It makes for independence. 

2. It stimulates thought. 

3. It trains the intellectual judgment. 

4. It calls for patience, tolerance, mutual respect, and 
genuine appreciation. 

5. It puts responsibility on the learner — where it be- 
longs. 

6. It acquaints with the whole field of knowledge. 

7. It leads to new discoveries. 

8. It bristles with unsolved, marginal problems. 
"Its disadvantages are: 

1. It is hard on both teacher and learner. 

2. It is indefinite and opportunistic. 

3. It leaves gaps in knowledge. 

4. It is too introspective. 

5. It wastes time, valuable time, and so is costly in 
money. 

6. Its conclusions are not always sure. 

7. It encourages slovenly methods of work. 

8. Learners are often too immature to profit by it. 
"XI. The Survey and Observation Method. By sur- 
vey is meant — 

1. A diagnosis of the situation 

2. The use of printed forms or schedules 

3. The gathering of materials already unearthed 

4. Observation of the conduct of the situation (a part 
of a survey) 

5. Facts related to a local situation 

6. Results — a generalization and a program 
"There may be objections to a survey that sets forth 

a program. However, we do not conceive that a survey 
is complete without a program, any more than we think 



144 THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 



of education as complete that does not eventuate in a 
program of living in terms of the meanings, apprecia- 
tions, and values arrived at. So we may say that accord- 
ing to our view a survey as to method is scientific, and 
philosophic in program. 

"The advantages of this method are: 

1. It endeavors to face all the facts of the situation. 

2. It should result in a local and flexible program. 

3. It should open up good, but also weak points in a 
situation. 

4. It may perfect new instruments for future surveys. 
"Its disadvantages are: 

1. It may be too scientific. 

2. It tends to consume much time. 

3. It tends to reflect the biases of the investigators. 

4. It is often useless. 

"XII. The Experience-Centered Method. It would be 
better to call this the experience-centered approach, but 
since we are dealing with methods we will allow the 
misnomer to stand. You will readily correct the error in 
your own thinking. 

"By the experience-centered approach I mean a 
teaching method whereby the learner's on-going ex- 
periences, whether personal or social, are made the 
basis of the curriculum of religious education. Mani- 
festly not all experiences can be or should be so used. 
The experiences to be employed will exhibit certain 
characteristics as follows: 

1. They will have general interest. 

2. They will be capable of many defensive solutions. 

3. They will require an abundance of source mate- 
rials. 

4. They will have worth while concern for the group. 
"It is conceivable that a particular problem may be of 

paramount interest for an individual, but have practi- 
cally no group value. Then counseling should be em- 
ployed and not group teaching. We should keep in 
mind the difference between an approach and a method. 
The former represents an attitude. The latter is a spe- 
cific technique. 



THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 145 



"The advantages of this method are: 

1. It is of vital interest to the learners. 

2. It requires hard work on the part of teachers and 
learners. 

3. It is thoroughly local and specific. 

4. It ought to lead to Christian outcomes in every 
case. 

5. Every situation is inherently religious and this ap- 
proach tends to make it stand out as such. 

"Its disadvantages are: 

1. It may be so concrete as to preclude the prepara- 
tion of materials by experts. 

2. It may take so much time as to be impossible of 
general employment. 

3. The interests of the local group may be trivial and 
frequently are. 

4. It fails to allow for the fact that there are certain 
truths that all should learn. 

5. It makes a schedule impossible. 

"There are other techniques such as cooperative in- 
vestigation, public conversation, the symposium, 
search-discovery, heuristic techniques, trips, excur- 
sions, exhibits, the forum, the panel, the socialized reci- 
tation and the like, which could be presented at this 
time and perhaps should be. However, I do not care to 
make our treatment appear to be final, because wisdom 
will not die with us and further light we trust will burst 
forth as experience enlarges. I believe that I have pre- 
sented sufficient evidence to indicate that no method is 
perfect and that the creative approach may employ any 
method on occasion, always understanding that the 
method to be used should arise naturally and inevitably 
out of the situation itself. Only as the individual's in- 
alienable rights of initiative, freedom, and responsibil- 
ity are respected can creative education take place in 
the church or elsewhere. And it is creative education — 
the right to make our own mistakes and to profit by 
them, the right to make our own choices for the solution 
of life's problems and issues and to abide by the conse- 
quences, the right to be responsible in other words — 



146 THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 



which we ardently desire, particularly in the church. 
This procedure will make education creative in the 
church or anywhere else." 

At the conclusion of the address the group discussed 
the issues raised in it very feelingly, asked Dr. Sherron 
to present creative supervision at the next meeting, and 
adjourned subject to his call, but determined to utilize 
the creative approach wherever possible. 

"Why should we not be creative ?" asked Dr. Martin, 
as he walked home with Dr. Sherron. 



CHAPTER XII 



After Three Years 



jLHREE YEARS HAD PASSED. Dr. Sherron had 
become a father and his son was named Allen Schmidt 
Sherron. Allen was now more than a year old. The In- 
termediate Department had been promoted as a group 
into the Senior Department. The Intermediate Depart- 
ment, due, however, to promotions from the Junior De- 
partment and additions, now numbered forty-two stud- 
ents. A class had been organized for married adults of 
less than five years standing which numbered thirty- 
eight and met on Tuesday evenings in the homes of the 
members. Three other adult groups had been organized 
and were handling the problems and issues of their 
lives creatively. 

The Intermediate Department spent a whole year on 
the question of choosing a life work and ended by send- 
ing a committee to the Junior and Primary Depart- 
ments to induce them to try to build their own pro- 
grams on a creative basis. 

Dr. Schmidt had agreed to the unified service. This 
service began at 9:00 A.M. and closed at 10:30 A.M. thus 
giving opportunity to those who desired to do so to take 
a ride in the car or to return to their homes. At the uni- 
fied service Primaries, Juniors, and Intermediates met 
at 9:00 A.M. in the regular worship service of the church 
and promptly at 9:30 A.M. after a genuine worship ex- 
perience and a sermon or story delivered to them, with- 
drew for an hour of group exercises including discus- 



147 



148 THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 



sions and work, memorization, and other items in prep- 
aration for worship, but not for worship which they had 
enjoyed in the church service. 

When they had withdrawn Dr. Schmidt either 
preached on the theme that had been suggested to him 
for the day by the special committee appointed for that 
purpose or on some other theme that he himself had 
selected. At 10:00 A.M. he dismissed the congregation 
that it might go to Church School. The Church School 
groups spent thirty minutes in profitable and timely dis- 
cussion. Promptly at 10:30 A.M. all left the church for 
their homes or for an outing as had been planned. The 
attendance on Sunday mornings had grown from about 
150 to more than 800. There was a perceptible increase 
whenever Dr. Schmidt announced that he would preach 
on topics suggested to him as being of paramount in- 
terest in the group experience. The Church School now 
numbered more than 1100 for all departments includ- 
ing the Department of the Home and the group of mar- 
ried young adults. Perhaps we should explain that Dr. 
Sherron preferred the designation Department of 
Home instead of the time-honored Home Department, 
for as he said again and again, he felt that the church 
and the Church School should cooperate with the home 
rather than the home with these institutions, and he 
had in mind to embody this concept in the designation 
he preferred for the department. 

The young married adult group had written an origi- 
nal play and were busy getting it ready for presenta- 
tion before the whole church prior to Christmas. The 
several departments were busy with the consideration 
of topics arising out of their interests. For example, the 
Junior boys were engaged in writing a life of Christ, 
based on the Gospels, The Acts, and the Epistles of the 
New Testament, and the lives of Jesus for children. 
The Junior girls had chosen as their project the "Origin 
and Growth of the Bible." The Intermediate boys were 
concerned with "The Truth about Alcohol" while the 
girls of this department — it had been found necessary 
to divide this group into two since it now numbered 



THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 149 



forty-two, and the sex line seemed the best to follow — 
had decided to discuss "Making Life Worth While." The 
young adults, as we have said, had written an original 
play and were getting it ready for presentation shortly. 
Christmas seemed to be a suitable time for them to 
give it and it was now November. The title of the play 
was "Being a Neighbor." Their next project was to be 
"Teaching Religion to Children under Three." 

The Seniors — boys and girls who had been promoted 
from the Intermediate Department — were considering 
the question of missions — its motives, its methods, its 
bearing on church union, etc. They seemed to think 
well of the ten recommendations of Re-thinking Mis- 
sions, though the leaders in the denomination tended 
to frown upon these particularly on the one that urged 
a combination administrative board, the very one the 
young people believed in most heartily. 

For two years the Vacation Church School had been 
in operation, and during the last year young people and 
adults had both been admitted to this Vacation Church 
School. The Young People met in the afternoon, the 
adults at night, and the children of the Beginner, Pri- 
mary, and Junior ages in the mornings. The school 
operated for six weeks and had as its teachers students 
who had returned from colleges as well as public school 
teachers of the church who were home on their vaca- 
tions. There was a liberal sprinkling of others also but 
most of the teachers came from these groups. 

Already during the Vacation Church School in 
former years the Juniors had discussed the "Life and 
Religion of the Early Hebrews" while the Intermedi- 
ates, had discussed "Making a Better Neighborhood" 
and a "Dramatic Service of Worship." These same In- 
termediates, now Seniors, were planning to discuss for 
the coming summer "Parents and Purse Strings" and 
they proposed to do it realistically. The Young People 
had announced as their topic for the coming summer 
"Parents and the Latch Key" while the adult group had 
announced as its topic "Parents and the Automobile." 

There was also contemplated the organization of a 



ISO THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 

Week Day Church School, as soon as the other churches 
of the community would unite with First Church in en- 
tering upon such an enterprise. Dr. Sherron was not 
anxious to begin this enterprise until the major 
churces of the community were ready for it and they 
seemed not yet to be. 

The Christian Endeavor met as usual on Sunday 
evenings but had more of the social feature. It had from 
time to time discussed "The Duties of the Missionary/' 
especially when a returned missionary was available. 
The questions that followed showed that members of 
the group were not interested primarily in the social 
differences prevailing in the non-Christian lands but 
rather in the growth of the spirit of independence on 
the part of the native Christians. One of them once de- 
clared: "I think the natives should say whether they 
want a missionary to return or not." The returned mis- 
sionary who was addresing the group that night de- 
murred and there followed a real discussion with the 
missionary on one side and the Christian Endeavor 
group on the other. At another time Mary Jones gave 
it as her opinion that missionaries should not preach for 
converts and should not be judged by the number of 
adherents they had won but should hold open house for 
social purposes and counseling. The group agreed with 
her but not the Board's secretary who was leading the 
service. Dr. Schmidt was present and announced that 
he had decided to preach on "Missionaries and Denomi- 
nationalism" shortly. The group rejoiced at his decision 
and resolved to be present and to be prepared to ask 
him many questions at the later meeting which ordi- 
narily followed the Wednesday evening church sup- 
per. 

The Bible Class continued to meet each Sunday 
morning and to discuss the Uniform Lesson for the day, 
chiefly because of the convenience of having an abun- 
dance of helps for the discussion. But there was grow- 
ing dissatisfaction with these lessons, since they were 
not based on experience and did not touch the vital is- 
sues of ordinary living. In fact the idea that lessons 



THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 151 



should grow out of life seemed to be premeating the 
entire church. Groups were formed whenever a prob- 
lem appealed to the would-be members and there 
seemed to be no need of continuing groups when inter- 
est dictated new aggregations. Leaders were usually 
chosen after the formation of such interest groups and 
out of the group membership, though Dr. Sherron was 
asked by the young married adults to meet with them 
as leader and he and his wife gladly enrolled. They 
could easily do this since the group met during the 
week. Sometimes the leaders demurred on the grounds 
that they had not been trained for leadership. In every 
case the groups had their way, however, and real talent 
was thus discovered. 

The library had now an endowment of $50,000 and 
was remaining open each afternoon and evening with a 
trained librarian in charge. On Sundays it opened an 
hour before and after each public service but closed 
during the service. This was the practice also on other 
days of the week. The various groups suggested the 
books they needed and the Library Committee saw to it 
that they were placed on reserve shelves. Some books 
could be borrowed and, strange to say, the Public 
Library had increased its circulation while the Church 
School Library had been growing by leaps and bounds. 
The library had returned to First Church with a new 
emphasis ! 

"Won't you review for us the ten criteria we adopted 
when as Intermediates we discussed what considera- 
tions should have weight with us in choosing a life 
work?" asked Mary Jones of Dr. Sherron in a group 
meeting. 

"I think you should do that," replied Dr. Sherron. 

"I will do my best," said Mary, "but I first want to 
refer to the Scripture that we adopted as expressing 
our conception of principles." 

Then she read Matthew 25:14-28 as follows: 

"For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a 
far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto 
them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another 



152 THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 



two, and to another one; to every man according to his several 
ability; and straightway took his journey. Then he that had 
received the five talents went and traded with the same, and 
made them other five talents. And likewise he that had re- 
ceived two, he also gained other two. But he that had received 
one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money. 
After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckon- 
eth with them. And so he that had received five talents came 
and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst 
unto me five talents : behold, I have gained beside them five 
talents more. His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good 
and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, 
I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the 
joy of thy lord. He also that had received two talents came 
and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents : behold, 
I have gained two other talents beside them. His lord said 
unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant : thou hast 
been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over 
many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. Then he 
which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I 
knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou 
hast not sown, and gathering where thou has not strewed: 
And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: 
lo, there thou hast that is thine. His lord answered and said 
unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest 
that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not 
strewed : Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the 
exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received 
mine own with usury. Take therefore the talent from him, 
and give it unto him which hath ten talents." 

"Now that I have read the Bible passage that we 
thought especially appropriate, I will give the ten cri- 
teria in my own words for they mean everything to me. 
They are as I recall them : 

1. Will the calling I contemplate give me opportunity 
to exercise my full powers? 

2. Will it afford me opportunity to grow and develop ? 

3. Will it provide for the four-fold development of 
life, physically, mentally, spiritually, and socially? 

4. Will it provide a means of support for me and for 



THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 153 



those who are likely to be dependent upon me? 

5. Am I willing to make the necessary preparation for 
successful achievement in this vocation? 

6. Is this vocation already overcrowded, or is there a 
great need for workers in it ? 

7. Are there any elements requisite for success in this 
vocation that would be distasteful to me? 

8. Do my friends think that I could succeed in this 
vocation? 

9. Is it a vocation in which I can engage with pas- 
sionate love and devotion? 

10. Is it the calling that God would have me enter?" 
Then she solemly announced that she had decided to 

be a nurse and to enter training the next week for three 
years in the Protestant Hospital of Bakersville. Several 
others said they had decided their life work: one for 
business, another for chemical engineering, a third for 
retail clothing, a fourth for the ministry (a brother of 
Mrs. Sherron), a fifth for banking, but no two had 
chosen the same profession or calling. 

"That is as it should be," interposed Dr. Sherron, be- 
cause it seemed to confirm his idea of creative teaching 
according to which the same process should result in at- 
titudes almost diametrically opposed to each other "in 
that fundamentalists and liberalists should come out of 
the same group." 

"Oh, yes," added Mary, "as we discussed criteria we 
added a fourth issue to the three already agreed upon." 

"And what was it?" asked Dr. Sherron. 

"You know and each of us knows," said Thomas Ter- 
hune, who had chosen the ministry as his life work, 
"that we decided we wanted to discuss what we would 
do in case our profession seemed anti-social." 

The creative approach to education in the church 
seemed to have demonstrated its value and First Church 
had experienced new life, evidenced by growth and de- 
velopment in every department — preaching, teaching, 
and social activity. 

"That is what I expected," said Dr. Sherron, "but the 
growth has been more ample and more spontaneous 



154 THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 



than I had anticipated," he thoughtfully added. 

"But not more so than I had expected, " joyfully- 
added Dr. Schmidt. 

"I thoroughly believe in ministers of education," 
commented Dr. Martin. 



Some Useful Books— for the 
Careful Student 



The Bible 

Our best source book for religious education. 

R. G. Anderson. The Unified Sunday Morning Church 
Service. 1936. Abingdon. 

A fact-finding discussion of an important theme. 

J. C. Archer. Faiths Men Live By. 1934. Nelson. 

Chiefly valuable for its recognition of the values of 
paganism. 

W. S. Athearn. The Minister and the Teacher. 1932. 
Scribner's. 

A vigorous arraignment of the progressive educa- 
tion. By a master. 

G. H. Betts. The Curriculum of Religious Education. 
1921. Abingdon. 

By a progressive thinker, but not thoroughly so. 

W. C. Bower. The Curriculum of Religious Education. 
1925. Scribner's. 

A landmark in religious education. Experience is the 

basis of the curriculum. 

Religious Education in the Modern Church. 1929. 
Bethany. 

Gives a technique for handling religious education 
problems. 

155 



156 THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 



The Living Bible. 1937. Harper's. 

Tells the values of the Bible for the modern worker in 
religious education. 

Brown, May and Shuttleworth. The Education of 
American Ministers (4 Vols.). 1934. Macmillan. 
The facts and their interpretation fully given. 

E. D. S. Brunner. The Larger Parish. 1934. The Insti- 
tute of Social and Religious Research. 

A sociological analysis that says the larger parish is 

a hope, not a realization. 

A. T. Case. Liberal Christianity and Religious Education. 

1924. Macmillan. 

A ready facing of all the problems involved in lib- 
eralism. 

E. J. Chave. Personality Development in Children. 1937. 

University of Chicago Press. 

A scholarly approach to the facts involved in the sit- 
uation. Not as progressive in method as some would 
like. 

Committee of the American Association of University 
Professors. College and University Teaching. 1935. 
A. A. U. P. 

An evaluation of education courses and recommenda- 
tion. 

H. J. Councillor. The Junior Church. 1928. Century. 
The Junior Church as seen by one who thoroughly 
believes in it. 

Cooperative Studies in Religious Education. 1930. Uni- 
versity of Chicago Press. 

Samples of instruments valuable in unearthing the ex- 
periences people are having. 

E. B. Crow. Creative Education. 1937. Prentice-Hall Inc. 
A discussion of principles involved in making educa- 
tion creative. 

H. S. Dimock. Rediscovering the Adolescent. 1937. As- 
sociation Press. 



THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 157 



Upsets many of the "accepted" theories of the re- 
ligious development of adolescents. 

D. J. Fleming. Attitudes Toward Other Faiths. 1928. 

Century. Ways of Sharing with Other Faiths. 1929. 

Century. Ethical Issues Confronting World Christians. 

1935. International Missionary Council. 
These three books all advocate the same idea of shar- 
ing with non-Christians as basic in the missionary 
approach. 

H. E. Fosdick. A Guide to Understanding the Bible. 
1915. Harper's. 

A fearless presentation of the Bible as a liberal sees 

it. 

W. A. Harper. Youth and Truth. 1927. Century. 

Youth is for truth, not for any particular movement. 

K. L. Heat on. A Study of the Recreational Interests of 
High School Young People. 1937. University of Chicago 
Press. 

A study of the recreational interests of a particular 
group. Very suggestive. 

H. H. Home. This New Education. 1931. Macmillan. 
A philosophical, constructive criticism of the newer 
trends in education. 

R. E. Hume. The World's Living Religions. 1928. 
Scribner's. 

A sound, scholarly study in comparative religion. 

Treasure House of the World's Living Religions. 1932. 
Scribner's. 

Quotes from the sacred writings of the non- 
Christian religions. 

International Council of Religious Education. Book VI. 
The Organization and Administration of Religious Ed- 
ucation in the Local Church. Standards A and B for 
Church Schools. 

Of real value to the student of religious education. 



158 THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 

W. H. Kilpatrick. Remaking the Curriculum. 1936. 
Newsom. 

States the modern view of curriculum-building in 
small compass. 

Lotz and Crawford (Editors). Studies in Religious Ed- 
ucation. 1931. Cokesbury. 

Leaders in religious education present their views in 

the form of a symposium. 

A. W. Martin. Seven Great Bibles. 1930. Stokes. 

Believes in syncretism in religion and undertakes to 
demonstrate it. 

W. C. McCallum. The Graded Church. 1930. Bethany. 
Specific programs of graded churches are set forth 
without recommendations. 

G. V. Moore. Improving the Small Church School. 1932. 
Bethany. 

The author's fine experience is made to function ef- 
fectively in efforts to improve the small church 
school. 

A. J. W. Myers. Teaching Religion Creatively. 1932. 
Revell. 

Does not argue about creative teaching but demon- 
strates it. 

J. M. Price (Editor). An Introduction to Religious Educa- 
tion. 1932. Macmillan. 

From the Southern Baptist viewpoint religious edu- 
cation is amply presented. 

Re-Thinking Missions. A Layman's Appraisal. 1932. 
Harper's. 

After a century of trial, laymen appraise the mission- 
ary enterprise of the churches. 

S. R. Slavson. Creative Group Education. 1937. Asso- 
ciation Press. 

An inveterate creativist illustrates his technique. 

E. D. Soper. What May I Believe? 1927. Abingdon. 



THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION 159 



The best single statement of Christian beliefs from 
the modern viewpoint. 

Muriel Streibert. Youth and the Bible. 1924. Macmillan. 
A fair statement of how modern youth looks at the 
Bible. 

Frederick M. Thrasher. The Gang. Revised 1936. Uni- 
versity of Chicago Press. 

A careful study of an interesting problem. Worth 

careful scrutiny. 

L. L. Thurstone. The Measurement of Attitude. 1929. 

University of Chicago Press. 

A sane discussion and approach to the testing prob- 
lem. (In collaboration with Professor E. J. Chave.) 

Paul H. Vieth. Objectives in Religious Education. 1930. 
Harper's. 

A scholarly discussion of a major problem in religious 
education. 

H. G. Wells. Outline of History. 1931 (Enlarged and 
Revised). Garden City Publishing Company. 

Urges that mankind should form a syncretistic re- 
ligion. 

E. F. Zeigler. The Way of Adult Education. 1938. 
Westminster. 

The best single book on adult education in existence.